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Price Gouging is Just the Beginning By James Reed
I was in my friendly neighbourhood supermarket, where a guy older than me, probably from WWII, lost it, being upset by regulations. “Why did I fight for this country?” he lamented, not being able to get all of his goods, and having to pack stuff, and numerous other pointless things. I said to him that it was not the staff’s fault that this was happening and that we little people are all victims. And, down the track supermarkets will probably close, so people will face mass starvation. Maybe before then we will not be even able to pay for food:
“Shoppers have accused Coles and Woolworths of “price gouging” even as supermarket shelves are being emptied by shoppers panic-buying amid fears of a looming shutdown and tens of thousands of job losses. Disgruntled shoppers on the hunt for supermarket essentials took to social media in order to air their frustrations about high prices and missing specials. “Why are there no specials in your stores at the moment - normally aisles are full of special offers but nothing- is this not price gouging while people are struggling with making ends meet?” posted one user about Coles. Another posted a photo of broccoli advertised for $11.50 per kilo. Broccoli is typically priced around $5 per kilo. Some users said they paid $5 for half a head of cauliflower, and others said they saw lettuce going for up to $8 a head. Another also said Coles’ prices were not only high, but stock was low, and asked what supermarkets were doing to help the country. The lack of specials did not go unnoticed by shoppers, with one saying there was “not one special on the shelves” and accused Woolworths of “profiteering”. A spokesperson for Woolworths said that there were multiple factors behind the price rise of produce, such as the drought and bushfire seasons impacting supply. “Due to pressures throughout the horticultural supply chain caused by drought, unseasonal weather and an unprecedented spike in demand, we're currently seeing an impact on the availability of some fresh fruit and vegetable lines,” the spokesperson said. “This has led to higher wholesale costs for some fruit and vegetable lines across the market and we're working closely with our growers to help manage this as best we can. “We understand the uncertainty facing households right now and remain focused on offering quality Australian grown food to our customers at competitive prices.” A Coles spokesperson told Yahoo Finance that the drought had hit Australian producers hard. “We are seeing upward price pressures across many agricultural categories as a result of the sustained drought across many of our producing regions. “In the case of produce, much of what our hard-working supplier partners are harvesting now was planted during tough drought conditions,” the spokesperson said. This is particularly true of vegetables such as leafy greens, broccoli, beans and corn. Meanwhile, “extreme hot weather” during Christmas and January saw the volume of tomatoes, capsicums and cucumbers impacted. “Our suppliers are enjoying more favourable growing conditions over recent weeks and we are confident that vegetable volumes will improve.”
See, nothing at all to worry about. And here was I thinking that there was a conspiracy going on, when the million-dollar lettuce is just supply and demand. Say, why are there no tins of green beans on the shelves?