Greengrocer slams ‘ridiculous’ fruit and vegetable price wars
A defiant greengrocer has blasted the industry for “ridiculous” price wars amid a fruit and vegetable shortage.
Chris Stanton, owner of JS Fruiterers in Staines, Surrey, has continued selling his goods at the same price to keep his “customer’s happy”.
He noticed people coming to his shop looking for specific items, due to supermarkets not having what they were looking for.
Chris, from Staines, told Surrey Live: “I heard at the market that stock might be low due to the ground conditions from the cold weather we had.
“So produce had to be imported from Spain, mainly iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and peppers.
“There is competition now so they will have to put the prices back down.
“Prices definitely affected my business, I could buy iceberg lettuce for £1.50 each and sell it for much more.
“It’s ridiculous, I just sold them for the same price to keep my customers happy.”
Mass shortages of fruit and vegetables have been reported across the UK with some major supermarkets rationing the staples.
The produce shortage has been blamed on the chiller-than-usual temperatures experienced not only in Britain but across Europe.
But Chris added: “I just bought less so I wouldn’t be throwing anything away, I’d just buy one box of each item so there was no wastage at all.
“I just wanted to break even really but I know that it won’t last forever.
“I just thought if I could get through the month it would go back to normal.”
During Covid, business was booming for Chris with customers queuing down the street after supermarkets ran low on most stock.
Afterwards, Chris noticed not all customers remained loyal to his store and some did return to supermarket shopping, which he said was “upsetting”.
Chris said: “I was really busy through Covid but some of the customers went back to the supermarkets, they should really support us because we’re not going to let them down, and if grocers have to close down then people would have nothing when supermarkets run low there are a select amount of people who appreciate that.”
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