Prices to soar, major supply shortage as Qld floods impact Christmas lunch favourites

Estimated read time 3 min read

As flooding rains in Queensland disrupt harvest and destroy farmers, the price of summer fruit and seafood favorites is set to rise.

Far North Queensland has been drenched in record-breaking rain. Some towns received 2000mm, and Cooktown had the heaviest rainfall in over a century.

Jo Sheppard, chief executive of the Queensland Farmers Federation, said that losses for producers would be “catastrophic.” She predicted, “There won’t be a farmer in this region who won’t be impacted.”

Floods have caused a shortage of summer fruits such as bananas, melons, papayas, and barramundi, as well as prawns.

Ms Sheppard stated, “We hear that the banana harvest is well underway and there are plenty of bananas in storage but they can’t get them anywhere.”

Floodwaters have crippled the Palmerston Highway in the North of the Country, which is the only road that leads to the coast for B-double trucks. It’s also a major route used by farmers to transport their goods.

It has been especially devastating for mangoes after an absolutely bumper season. Orchards have been completely flooded. Trees were uprooted and washed out, and there’ve been power outages, Ms Sheppard explained.

It has had a major impact on mangoes and papaya, as well as melon and melon.

Supply issues may force Australians to change their Christmas menus at the last minute. A seafood favorite could also be affected by the destruction.

“While there are certainly going to be effects, Ms Sheppard stated that a large amount of prawns have already been harvested.”

“Barramundi farms are also likely to experience a significant disruption in supply.”

Infrastructure damage has also been significant at sugarcane mills. Although the majority of this year’s crop has been harvested, “quite some young canes were destroyed,” and Ms Sheppard anticipates that this will impact the industry for another 12 to 18 months.

Ms Sheppard stated that “it’s a challenging time for farmers, but also for the rural and region communities where they live and work.”

Many backpackers and casual employees are now seeking emergency accommodation due to the flooding.

Ms Sheppard stated that it was almost certain that prices would rise in response to the shortage of supplies but encouraged Australians to consider supporting their local farmers by taking on additional costs.

She said: “If there is a slight price increase in the supermarket for the fresh fruit that comes from the north, I encourage people to think about how fortunate we are to have these beautiful fruits in Australia and buy them anyway.”

Support farmers who are working hard despite the challenges.

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