Australia - Severe wet weather hampers vegetable production in South East Queensland

12.05.2022 236 views

Earlier this year wet weather events in South East Queensland created quite some havoc with many farms being affected due to severe wet weather conditions. Severe wet weather conditions are again forecasted for this week in SEQ production regions and weather forecasters are saying that this month of May might break previous May rain records.

Qualipac is one the many growers affected by this inclement weather in the region.

"Without a properly working crystal ball (still waiting for someone to invent one that is accurate!), no one really knows at this stage if and/or how this will affecting our vegetable production regions in the coming week(s)," says Kees Versteeg, Sales & Business Development at Qualipac.

Easing Covid-19 interstate and international travel restriction as well as high vaccination rates should translate to better (seasonal) labour access for the industry and Kees does not expect any major problems accessing the labour force for harvesting when needed.  

"Our already comparably high cost of production in Australia is experiencing more upwards cost pressures due to increased costs for farm-inputs, fuel prices, domestic pressure in lifting wages to support increased domestic living expenses and cost for shipping our fresh produce by road, air and/or by sea servicing our domestic and overseas markets. I believe not only in Australia but also many other countries are experiencing similar upwards cost pressures in the food production supply-chain."

Air and sea freight associated costs are still very high compared to pre Covid-19 times and Kees doesn't see this improving soon. "Neither do I foresee any improvements in shipping line schedule reliability and improved availability of shipping containers which are still short in supply and disproportionately priced for shipping to overseas markets.

"Farming was, is and will continue to be a profession of hope … we are still, throughout these difficult times producing, packing and shipping fresh produce every week to our domestic and overseas markets though it might take some time and more favourable conditions to get us growers, packers & shippers back in the pre Covid-19 saddle."

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