Customers see red over the high cost of local tomatoes

Customers on the island are concerned at the increasing cost of local produce at the supermarket. The most noticeable increases are the locally grown tomatoes which will set you back $18 per kilo.

A couple of months ago, the cost of 1 kg of tomatoes was about $15 dollars per kilo. Today it was confirmed by the largest supermarket on the island that the cost has now increased to $18.

One customer told BCN news that last week they bought a bundle of eggplants for $6.50 and this week the bundle has doubled in price to $13.50 per bundle.

The manager of the supermarket said that the cost of the produce is set by the supplier. The supermarket adds their mark-up which caps at $2 and covers power, storage and handling. The consumer tax NCT is then added at the point of sale.

One local hydroponic supplier told BCN News that their tomatoes are sold at the gate for $12 per kg and they don’t have much in stock anymore.

BCN news was contacted by some very disappointed customers that this is not right, especially if there is no justifiable reason for the increasing cost such as transport or air freight but these are locally grown produce.

The island’s biggest supermarket used to import tomatoes from New Zealand before but have stopped to support the local suppliers. Imported tomatoes would be sold at $28.60 per kg.

Meanwhile, customers are questioning the high costs of produce when it’s understood that some of these local suppliers are recipients of the government’s wage subsidies program which pays part of the wages of their employees.

One customer who approached BCN News says that something should be done to ensure the pricing of locally grown produce is priced correctly.

There is no consumer protection authority in Niue. There is a Price Control Board established under the 1975 law to consolidate and control of prices on imported goods for resale in Niue

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