Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Attention Shoppers: Fruit and Vegetable Prices Are Rising

Being a member of the Farm & Fork Society this year will not only give subscribers access to organic vegetables and eco-farmed fruit grown by local farmers, it will also save members significantly on produce bills for the coming summer and fall.

Due to a three year drought in California, it is projected that produce will see massive price hikes that have already begun. According to a recent Wall Street Journal story entitled Attention Shoppers: Fruit and Vegetable Prices Are Rising, this year the cost of produce will skyrocket! It is projected that the three year drought in California could increase the prices of fruits and vegetables from 13% to 34%.

The article is based on a study compiled by Timothy Richards, an agribusiness professor at Arizona State University. Richards studied how the three year California drought has effected farms and consumer purchasing. Based on his studies the study found that a head of lettuce could increase in price as much as 62 cents to $2.44; avocado prices could rise 35 cents to $1.60 each; and tomatoes could cost 45 cents more at $2.84 per pound. 

While the $625 for a Farm & Fork Society vegetable share may seem like a lot of money to pay for lettuce, broccoli and beets (plus a ton of other veggies), on a weekly basis, a subscription is actually very cost effective. The season runs for 24 weeks from June to November and on a weekly basis costs approximately $26 per week for vegetables. For that each member gets enough vegetables to easily feed a family of four a few meals plus.

Putting aside the value of both organic veggies and sustainably grown fruits, supporting local farmers and being a part of a vital and growing community of likeminded people, the Farm & Fork Society will actually SAVE members a ton of money this season.  

A recent analysis of the cost saving of being a member can be viewed here in this in-depth chart based on 2013 prices. The analysis shows that a CSA saves members on average 30-60% per week. This year with the drought in California the savings is surely to increase as prices in Whole Foods, Kings or Shoprite rise.

By Lewis Goldberg