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Impact of drought/fires on living expenses?


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#1 purpleduck

Posted 09 January 2020 - 07:53 AM

I was at Coles the other day and noticed some empty shelves in the fruit/veg and dairy sections.

I’m assuming it was just the time of day rather than actual shortages but it did get me thinking about the impact that the current drought and fires will have on the food supply chain and prices, and possibly other areas.

I’ve already noticed some veg are a lot more expensive but I’m not sure if that is seasonal or drought-related.

We are recycling some of our water into the garden so at least aren’t incurring additional water costs there and the rain overnight will greatly help keep my plants alive for a bit longer.

So wdyt? Have you noticed prices increasing and how will this all affect our regular costs and even food availability? I mean can you imagine if milk goes up to $5/10 a litre? Probably not realistic but I remember when bananas were $15/kg after that cyclone wiped out the farms.

#2 laridae

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:01 AM

There were signs up in our local Woollies (in Tas) that they were having availability issues for some product lines due to the fires. Though I suspect that's more transport related.

#3 ipsee

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:06 AM

Batlow grows a lot of apples and their orchards burned. I think there will be fruit and vegetable shortages/price increases in NSW for some time.

#4 José

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:08 AM

I imagine there will be various price rises.
E.g. apple trees from batlow have been burnt, so availability of Apples will be less. And it will take years for these orchards to recover.
Some cattle have been destroyed which might impact meat prices.
Im sure there us much more.
And currently transport if goods is problematic.

#5 Cimbom

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:21 AM

I purchased an air purifier I couldn’t really afford on Afterpay if that counts

#6 purpleduck

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:28 AM

View PostCimbom, on 09 January 2020 - 08:21 AM, said:

I purchased an air purifier I couldn’t really afford on Afterpay if that counts

Well, that seems to be a direct result of the smoke from fires. If it wasn't so bad, you wouldn't have had to purchase it. Do you know if air purifiers can be claimed under private health extras?

#7 red_squirrel

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:30 AM

View Postipsee, on 09 January 2020 - 08:06 AM, said:

Batlow grows a lot of apples and their orchards burned. I think there will be fruit and vegetable shortages/price increases in NSW for some time.

I heard from someone that lives that way that most of the orchards were saved in Batlow. There were fires but the apple trees were saved. Although not sure about the nectarines.

OP there are delivery problems to the supermarkets due to road closures at the moment. Some produce is likely to be effected but once the roads reopen supples should return.

#8 hills mum bec

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:33 AM

The Cudlee Creek fire in SA wiped out quite a few apple, pear & cherry orchards as well as a lot of vineyards.  I am also expecting quite a hike in my house & contents insurance come renewal time as I live in a town that was hit quite badly by this fire.

#9 Tokra

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:49 AM

I don't know if this is a silly thing to say or not - but even if the apple orchards were saved, does the smoke effect them? The quality? Viability? I don't know!

#10 RichardParker

Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:07 AM

I know that the heat affects grape vines - I'm sure that fruit trees exposed to heat could suffer stress.

Cattle prices will certainly rise, which is good for the farmers who have managed to hold on to some of their herd during the drought/fires, but it means beef prices will increase at the supermarket.

And quite a few dairy farms have been affected, which should affect the milk price but it never seems to work out that way due to the industry being strangled by Coles and Woolworths.

#11 PoolsideMasterchef

Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:13 AM

power, water, transport, food, everything will go up.

Another blow to people already suffering :(

#12 EsmeLennox

Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:15 AM

It’s actual shortages in WA... the Nullabor has been closed for 9 days, not sure when it will re-open, there’s a definite dip in supply...grocery stores have signs up indicating issues and shelves for some things are looking a depleted.. Hopefully, that will be short term. However, of course there will be a broader and longer lasting impact as well, given the agricultural regions which have been effected.

Edited by EsmeLennox, 09 January 2020 - 09:15 AM.


#13 José

Posted 09 January 2020 - 10:13 AM

View Postred_squirrel, on 09 January 2020 - 08:30 AM, said:



I heard from someone that lives that way that most of the orchards were saved in Batlow. There were fires but the apple trees were saved. Although not sure about the nectarines.



Some trees were saved, that's true. But there were still significant loss of trees, as well as damage to hail netting (protects trees and can't be insured) as well as no power for days so the apples already in cool store lost as well.

#14 Squeekums The Elf

Posted 09 January 2020 - 11:22 AM

Haven't noticed it yet in aldi but I'm ready for it to happen.

I've been saving woolies egift cards for a rainy day, I dare say I will use them on food shopping to ease the hit.

#15 SkeptiHandsOnMum

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:42 PM

View Postred_squirrel, on 09 January 2020 - 08:30 AM, said:

I heard from someone that lives that way that most of the orchards were saved in Batlow. There were fires but the apple trees were saved. Although not sure about the nectarines.

OP there are delivery problems to the supermarkets due to road closures at the moment. Some produce is likely to be effected but once the roads reopen supples should return.
I think that the smoke would affect the fruit quality for apples/grapes etc. Plus the impact on storage.

I am happy to pay more - if that is about suppliers getting more for their limited product, not about supermarket chains profiteering.

I already consciously double checked that the milk that I was buying today was one where profits went to the supplier, and re-checked that my tinned tomatoes were actually 100% Australian etc.It is such a good reminder to support local.

#16 ~Jolly_F~

Posted 09 January 2020 - 08:44 PM

Produce will go up because of this.

Fuel will go up because of the Iran/Trump thing.

Life is about to get considerably more expensive for those that can least afford it :(

#17 BornToLove

Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:02 PM

We do a few pick your own berries and noticed the quality of the fruit was much lower/poorer due to the lack of rain (FWIW we are in vic). Talking to a farmer when we went berry picking last weekend, he’s just thankful he has a crop to harvest this year.

I expect the food supply to be impacted long term by drought, not so much the fires. I expect we will buy more frozen/tinned fruit and veg, processed meats (read: food from overseas) to keep our grocery bill under control.

I am most concerned about rates to our insurance. Not just property damage but the long term health effects from the fires. I can see double digit rate increases this year across all policies.

Edited by BornToLove, 09 January 2020 - 09:03 PM.


#18 Anonforthistime

Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:11 PM

The young worker in Coles (Vic) today told me that their avocado supplier is totally cut off am even though they have avocados to sell there is no way to transport them to warehouses etc and on to supermarkets.
Coles are expecting to have no avocadoes in Vic within a few days.





#19 blueskies12

Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:20 PM

I think prices for all groceries will go up, considering the fires, drought, Trump...

#20 WaitForMe

Posted 09 January 2020 - 09:26 PM

I read an article on The Conversation that talked about predictions of floods and other kinds of extreme weather.

After droughts, its common for flooding. There tends to be large amounts of rain when the drought breaks, and on top of that as the land is so dry and bare, it floods easier.

It sounds like farmers are not going to get a break any time soon, and that is going to impact us all.

#21 Silver Girl

Posted 09 January 2020 - 10:01 PM

View PostEsmeLennox, on 09 January 2020 - 09:15 AM, said:

It’s actual shortages in WA... the Nullabor has been closed for 9 days, not sure when it will re-open, there’s a definite dip in supply...grocery stores have signs up indicating issues and shelves for some things are looking a depleted.. Hopefully, that will be short term. However, of course there will be a broader and longer lasting impact as well, given the agricultural regions which have been effected.

Wow, I had no idea the Nullarbor had been closed for so long. (I’m in Vic.) A lot of people/goods must be stranded on both sides.

#22 missminx

Posted 10 January 2020 - 09:57 AM

My local florist is closed with a sign on the door saying the smoke was affecting the quality of the flowers.

My local Woolies had a sign up saying green beans are unavailable due to the fires.

Things are going to be tough for everyone for a while.  I also worry if insurance companies will pay out or if they will say the fires are an act of God.  I hope there is some compassion in this decision making.

#23 ipsee

Posted 10 January 2020 - 10:23 AM

There seems to be almost no yogurt at my supermarket. I hope that isn't a permanent thing, my Dd lives on it.

#24 rosie28

Posted 10 January 2020 - 10:48 AM

There was very little yoghurt and no fresh mozzarella in my supermarket yesterday. I imagine transport related. I think fruit and veg prices will rise too, but we have some room in the budget to allow for that.

#25 Jingleflea

Posted 10 January 2020 - 10:56 AM

Blueberries and raspberries have been ridiculously cheap in canberra the last week. $2 a punnet for either is virtually unheard of, even the check out operator said they expected them to be way more due to the conditions lately.
Apples weren't great quality but that's probably a time of year thing mostly.


Insurance premiums will go up to cover all the money they'll be paying out I heard on the news last night.




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