TWO months ago, Granite Belt vegetable grower Howard Poole was getting $12 a carton for celery produced on his Amiens farm. This week the same item was fetching $20 due mainly to floods in Victoria that wiped out crops and frost that has wrecked production. "Twenty dollars is good money," said Mr Poole.But he has problem with supermarkets wanting to pass on his price hike:
"...the major chain retailers are exploiting the consumer... It is pretty immoral..."The basis for Farmer Poole's complaint is the profit margins enjoyed by supermarkets that transport, stock and distribute his product via complex and costly infrastructure while employing thousands of people and generating millions of dollars in taxes that, among other things, bail out natural disaster-afflicted farmers.
But that's a different issue. The question I'd ask is if he's so offended by the retailers making even more profit out of the shortages, why did he negotiate and accept an extra 60 per cent?
Update: Former farmer Olav Muurlink sets me straight in comments.