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This will be one of the worst years for growers in Aotearoa despite rising prices at the supermarket, according to Leaderbrand CEO Richard Burke. Stats NZ’s food price index shows fruit and vegetable prices rose 23 per cent in the past year. Food prices were up 12 per cent on last year with fruit and vegetables being the second highest driver of price increases. The items having the greatest impact are broccoli, tomatoes, and lettuce. Tomato and potato prices rose by the greatest amount, increasing 117 per cent and 48 per cent respectively. Leaderbrand’s Richard Burke says fresh produce prices are unlikely to go down at the supermarket growers’ supply hard hit by the weather. Burke describes conditions as unprecedented for growers across the country: He says people think when there are high prices, growers are making a lot of money. But frankly, he says they are facing one of the worst years.