Produce Market Report

While far north Queensland continues to mop after the floods, other regions of Queensland, like Stanthorpe, have been experiencing water shortages. Combine this with hot conditions in the southern states and the result is shorter supplies and higher prices for many vegetable lines.

In fruit, Royal Gala apples are in peak season and eating beautifully. Expect the arrival of Pink Lady and Red Delicious varieties in the next couple of weeks. Also at their best from now until April are figs, with large supplies arriving from Stanthorpe and the Lockyer Valley. There are still plenty of plums on the shelves, including varieties like Black Amber, Queen Garnet, Red Sierra and Dapple Dandy Pluot from Victoria.

Love to cook Asian recipes? Then limes will be one of your favourite ingredients and they’re fantastic value at the moment due to an abundance of supplies from north Queensland.

Bananas have been affected by weather conditions up north, with both Cavendish and Lady Finger in short supply.

It’s been tough going for vegetables this week but there are some good buys around: carrot, corn, mushrooms, sweet potatoes and zucchini are all reasonably priced. For better value, sometimes you need to consider different varieties and that’s certainly the case this week. We recommend green capsicums over red and continental cucumbers are also cheaper than Lebanese varieties.

Spinach prices are returning to normal as temperatures in some growing regions have eased off. Other leafy vegetables like lettuce are also more reasonable this week as more supplies arrive from Victoria.

Cauliflower and broccoli are expensive, as are eggplant (although the quality is still very good). After an excellent run over summer, tomato supplies and prices are tightening. Cherry tomatoes are the best option at the moment based on price and quality.

This week’s top pick is the in-season Shepard avocado. Grown in tropical north Queensland, Shepard avos represent about 10% of the entire avocado crop in Australia and they’re only available for a few months. The skin of Shepard avocados doesn’t change colour as they ripen, so to check for ripeness, gently squeeze the stem end to see if it yields slightly. Store unripe fruit at room temperature and then transfer ripe fruit to the fridge. Use Shepards in salads and dips as the flesh won’t go brown when cut.

You can buy the best of what the season has to offer at your nearest A Better Choice/Your Local Fruit Shop. Go to www.yourlocalfruitshop.com.au to locate your closest store. Check out our Facebook page for the latest news from your local fresh produce experts at www.facebook.com/yourlocalfruitshop

For further information, please contact Jane Schmidt, Marketing & Communications Executive, Brismark on 07 3915 4311 or via email [email protected]

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