A tornado-like hailstorm hit the Lockyer Valley region of Queensland over the weekend, affecting the supply of a variety of vegetables and increasing prices. (Shutterstock)
[The Epoch Times, November 14, 2023](Epoch Times reporter Xia Chujun compiled and reported from Sydney, Australia) Last weekend, a tornado-like hail hit the Lockyer Valley area in Queensland, causing supply disruptions to a variety of vegetables. Impact, prices rise.
Hail has destroyed half of Australia’s broccoli supply, sending the vegetable’s price soaring by 25 per cent, with stocks likely to run out before Christmas.
The bad weather also affected supplies of eschalots, squash, green onions, broccoli and green beans.
According to the Courier Mail, Michael Sippel, president of the Lockyer Valley Growers Association, said 35 growers in the area were affected, with crop losses estimated at $30 million and infrastructure damage worth $20 million. .
Graham Rowles, Queensland general manager of fruit and vegetable company Perfection Fresh, said about half of Australia’s long-stemmed broccoli supply was sourced from Queensland before mid-December, with prices rising by about 25 per cent due to the supply impact. .
A representative from supermarket giant Woolworths has confirmed that storms in the Lockyer Valley may mean customers are unable to find long-stemmed broccoli in stores.
“We’re going to be out of stock, and consumers are going to be out of stock in the next three to four weeks,” Rawls said.
“We will try to bring some stock forward from Victoria, but nationally, broccoli stocks will probably maintain about 50 per cent of the national supply over the next four to six weeks.”
Local greengrocers have started to increase prices on pumpkins and broccoli.
Sipel said growers will be without income for up to three months.
“Growers who have been through this (severe weather) have never seen winds like this, it’s like a tornado,” he said.
“If you see the damage it left behind, it was a hailstorm and we’ve never seen anything like it.”
“(Some) farms have 40 to 60 workers, but they want to keep employing those workers, and that’s a big problem.”
Maragi co-owner Tim Linnarn, who supplies green onions and broccoli, said he lost 50,000 boxes of produce, $800,000 in revenue and 80 of his staff lost their jobs.
“Our (broccoli) season is basically over; when you put broccoli in the ground, it takes 10 to 12 weeks,” he said.
“You need to wait another six weeks in the nursery before planting.”
Lockyer District State Rep. Jim McDonald said butternut pumpkin prices hit record highs before the storm hit.
“Now prices are going to go up because our suppliers can’t deliver; it’s a real loss to our community.”
A spokeswoman for Queensland Agriculture Minister Mark Furner said producers affected by the storm were eligible for disaster assistance loans of up to $250,000 to help with emergency repairs of equipment, fences and machinery.
“Primary producers who are severely affected during a disaster but are not in a designated disaster area may be eligible to apply for assistance as individual affected businesses,” the spokesman said.
“These producers should contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23 to submit a personal declaration of affected property.”
Editor in charge: Zong Minqing
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