Australians are being warned that the price of fresh fruit and vegetables could double within a decade, as farmers face increasing pressure from rising labour, electricity costs and weather extremes.
At Luigi Coco's Elimbah strawberry farm near Caboolture in Queensland, many of the paddocks that should be filled with a million young plants are still empty.
And drought ravaged strawberry nurseries at Stanthorpe in south-east Queensland are running weeks behind schedule.
"Strawberries are going to be late and I believe we're not going to get the full amount planted so we could have a scarcity of fruit on the market which will push the price up for consumers," Mr Coco, the president of the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association said.
- The capacity for growers in Queensland's Granite belt to produce $300 million worth of fruit and vegetables each year has been compromised
- Growers' representatives believe Australia urgently needs a national conversation about consistent water supply
- There are growing calls for consumers to back farmers' calls for action
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ABC Rural (8 April 2019)