Elena Elisseeva

Local markets continue to keep fruit and veg prices low

WHEN it comes to fruit and veg on the Southern Downs we are pretty spoilt for choice.

We can head to the farmers market twice a week, pop down to some of the farms on the Granite Belt or even go for a drive on a Sunday and hit up the Toowoomba markets.

But while the price of fruit and veg seems to be on the up in the supermarket, how can our local markets keep the prices so low?

Sam Sorbello or better known as Sam the Fruit and Vege Man said he sources all of his produce locally.

"Most of my produce comes from Stanthorpe," he said.

"It's important for people to eat healthy so I try to keep the prices reasonable.

"However everything seems to be costing more and more these days so it is only inevitable the price will rise.

"It's costing more for our farmers to plant and grow the crops so it's going to cost more for consumers."

John Thornton from the Warwick Farmers Markets said he gets most of his produce directly from farmers in Gatton, Stanthorpe, Killarney and Nobby.

"It seems more and more people are coming to the markets to pick up their produce," he said.

"It's great to see so many young people coming each week. They seem to be moving away from the fast food and want farm fresh healthy produce."

Mr Thornton said he would see a 1000 walk through the doors of his shed each week.

"Since the floods we haven't been able to get produce from Gatton, but we will see it back on track within the next few weeks," Mr Thornton said.

"Whenever there is a shortage on produce the price seems to rise but I make sure it is never too expensive."

Mr Thornton said if the popularity of his market continued to rise he would look at opening his doors three days a week.

"By purchasing fruit and veg from the market you are putting more money back into the pockets of local farmers."