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High petrol costs could affect food cost

The Master Grocers Association has warned that rising petrol costs may lead to a rise in the price of fresh foods, the ABC reported.

Jos de Bruin, CEO of the Master Grocers Association (MGA), which represents supermarkets like IGA, Foodworks and Foodland, said that as well as the general public paying more for fuel, the cost for delivery drivers has gone up too, the ABC said.

“As drivers experience massive increases in diesel prices, they are starting to pass these costs on to our member,” Mr de Bruin said.

“For fresh fruit and vegetables, they have to come from the farm to the wholesaler, and then to the store, and there are likely fuel levies all along that chain.”

According to the ABC, the price of diesel, in particular, has an impact upon the fresh food industry.

“Diesel powers the farming and transport economies [and] it’s now at the highest price I think I’ve seen it for many years,” Mr de Bruin said.

“You can’t expect small businesses to absorb that, so that’s passed on to us in the form of a levy, and we have a few of our members who have already faced a 15 percent levy, and that ultimately will be passed on to consumers.”

“The flip side is that consumers are watching their dollars every day, and they’re now seeing that their tank of petrol has increased by $20-30 per week, and that’s money that is no longer disposable income,” he said.

“For fresh fruit and vegetables, they have to come from the farm to the wholesaler, and then to the store, and there are likely fuel levies all along that chain.”

Fresh fruit and vegetables, and more expensive meat cuts are the first to be cut from the shopping list, according to the Master Grocers Association.

“It’s not as if people eat less, what they do is eat differently,” Mr de Bruin said.

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