Posted Jul 22, 2022, 11:36 AMUpdated on Jul 22, 2022 at 11:44 am
The average price of fruit and vegetables soared by 11% between 2021 and 2022, alert, this Friday, the association of consumers Rural families. An increase twice as high as the rate of inflation, underlines the association which, as every year, publishes the results of its 2022 fruit and vegetable price observatory.
In detail, the association carried out 108 price readings in 37 departments from June 8 to 22. The observation, made public when the National Assembly has just adopted the bill on purchasing power: the price of the reference basket used by the association has increased, for products from traditional agriculture, 8% for fruits and 15% for vegetables. In organic, which is more expensive, the situation is very different: fruit increases less (+4%) while vegetables see their prices fall by 3%.
Increases of 20 to 40% in traditional agriculture
“The year 2022 will not mark the beginning of a fall in the price of fruit, whether conventional or organic”, deplores the association for which “the cause is essentially due to the inflationary shock also suffered by producers, which has led to a sharp increase in production and packaging costs”. All against a backdrop of fallout from the war in Ukraine and difficulties in recruiting the necessary manpower.
The inflation champion in conventional agriculture is the green watermelon. Its price jumped 40% in one year due in particular to “unfavorable weather conditions” in the areas where it is grown. And especially in Spain. Peach (+25%), pepper (+37%), vine tomato (+31%) or green beans (+21%) are also among the most inflationary products. Conversely, onions (-14%), apples (-7%) or carrots (-3%) are cheaper on average than the previous year.
Organic victim of consumer disaffection
The situation is a little different on the organic side. Prices are rising more slowly. Two reasons for this. On the one hand because farmers use fewer inputs, the prices of which have increased. If the association does not detail this point, it is probably in particular pesticides and fertilizers, a large part of which was produced in Russia and Ukraine.
On the other hand, the fact that consumers seem to have turned away from organic products, which are traditionally more expensive. Producers “struggle to sell their production” and therefore “have no choice but to make an effort on the price so as to sell at least part of their harvest”.
And finally in organic farming, peaches (+28%), lemons (+13%), watermelons (+11%) and peppers (+10%) are the products whose price has risen the most. While many vegetables have seen their prices stagnate or fall, such as green beans (-13%) or even lettuce (-11%).
A food check
Faced with this increase, the association calls on politicians to act when, according to it, eating at least five fruits and vegetables per day and per person as recommended by the public authorities “represents between 5% and 16% of a net minimum wage monthly for a family of four.
“It is urgent, both from an economic and public health point of view, that the government and parliamentarians devote a real food check to all families who, for lack of budget, can no longer access quality food, and implement a ‘healthy eating plan, eat better’,” says Guylaine Brohan, president of Rural Families.
The association also wishes to “prohibit advertisements aimed at children promoting products that are too fatty, too sweet, too salty, which it is established that they largely trigger their purchase”. Similarly, she continues, it would be necessary “to make eligible for European funding, which is only very partially used today, actions to promote fruit and vegetables to children, outside the school framework”.