Is Fresh Food too Cheap?

My heart sank when the government announced a  surprise drop in inflation recently – while the rest of the country rubbed its hands together, all I could see was this depressing figure;

The cost of fruit has dropped by 4.7%

I can’t help thinking,  fresh food is too cheap. Consider this:

In Tesco today a single Mars Bar  costs 49p  while a crisp  Braeburn Apple costs 22p.

Though both taste delicious, one gives you nothing but a sugar hit, a guilt complex  and a big bum, the other is packed with essential vitamins, fibre and anti-oxidants.

I don’t know what the margin is on a Mars Bar but I’m willing to bet it outstrips the profit on an apple.

In October, the minimum wage will go up again,  to £6.08 per hour. In the last 10 years casual picking rates, when you include the changes to holiday pay and employers National Insurance, have risen by  roughly 80%.  I could hardly believe it when I looked at the figures but it’s true, in 2001 we were paying £4.10 an hour and by October that will have risen to around £7.38 – wages have almost doubled.

You could argue that they needed to rise but you wouldn’t be arguing with me. I agree, we should be paying a fair days pay for a fair days work . The day is coming, however, when I say,

What with?

In the last 10 years,  we have seen a steady decrease in the price of raspberries , and a flat line in the price  for strawberries.

Fuel has gone up, packaging has gone up, wages have gone up, everything has gone up, except our returns. What can we do? We can’t stock pile fruit until we get a better price, soft fruit is ready when soft fruit is ready – from field to supermarket in less than 24 hours.

I bet the cost of a Mars Bar didn’t drop by 4.7%.  I wonder if they’ve thought of a Stras Bar…or a Ras Bar…hmmm……

3 Comments Add yours

  1. crackerusmc says:

    In my opinion, it is to cheap. Thanks for the article. – Jordan
    http://www.bakerfamilyfarms.com

  2. There is something wrong with that model. Here food prices, especially fresh food, just go up. Petrol goes up, packaging goes up, wages go up, fruit and veg prices go up. For us, this is a problem: people starve. It seems to be a hard balancing act for everyone – except I suspect for the supermarkets who seem to be the only ones profiting.

    1. V. Kathryn Evans says:

      I think that is the problem Nicky – I don’t know what the answer is but the market is skewed…maybe it’s a good thing – maybe cheap fresh food improves the health of a nation but considering the obesity epidemic we have here.

      I don’t understand enough about economics , maybe I need to learn…

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