The Role of Fruit & Veg in Society
by Dr Hans Maurer
I have discussed fresh produce pricing on a number of occasions. Well, I had an epiphany last week. I think I have the answer to the problem of fresh produce pricing…
I was listening to the segment on National Radio where they rattle through the headlines from the New Zealand newspapers around the regions and one headline caught my ear – enough to make me look up the news item in question from the Dominion Post.
So, what are the issues again?
People need to eat fresh fruit and veg. But the price of fresh produce is too high for people afford, so their health is at risk.
Growers need to make a living from growing and supplying fresh produce. But the price of fresh produce is too low for them to do that, so their livelihood (and our food supply) is at risk.
“Somebody” isn’t prepared to pay growers a high enough price for their produce and that “somebody” is being driven by the behaviour of the consumer.
So who is driving this consumer behaviour? The influences are many and varied, ranging from the mother-in-law, the school, the mommy bloggers, the kids, nutritionists in the media, and so on…
I’m going to stick my neck out here:
the glass ceiling for fresh produce prices exists because people like nutritionists persist with pushing the idea that fruit & veg should be cheap!
Here’s my answer, then.
What needs to happen is that the fresh produce industry takes the nutritionists in hand and makes them understand the commercial realities of growing fruit & vegetables, so that the nutritionists’ ability to influence can be harnessed better to correctly position produce on the consumers’ plate.
Read more articles from Dr Hans Maurer on agrichain-centre.com