Fruit and Veg

Reporter: Andrea Burns

The good news is veggie's fill you up, slim you down, lower your cholesterol and lower your blood pressure. They'll help prevent diabetes, strokes and even cancer. And they taste good.

The bad news is if you thought they were getting pricier, you were right.

Jim Turley from Vegetables WA says "gone are the days you just put a crop in the paddock and let it grow. These days we don't use a lot of water, we don't use a lot of chemicals, fertilisers, so the standards must be maintained".

We've surveyed a basket of items you might have on this week's shopping list. Apples, Bananas, Oranges, Broccoli, Tomatoes, Avocados and Kiwi Fruit, comparing prices in 22 fruit and veggie stores across the state.

In the metropolitan area we surveyed from Rockingham to Joondalup. In country WA our spies checked prices in Port Hedland, south to Albany east to Kalgoorlie.

PINK LADY APPLES

Most expensive $5.99 kg

Least expensive $2.49 kg - Wanneroo Markets

Average $4.18 kg

2006 average $2.95 kg

LOOSE NAVAL ORANGES

Most expensive $4.99 kg

Least expensive $1.99 kg - Subiaco Markets

Average $3.89 kg

2006 average $3.11 kg

LOOSE BANANAS

Most expensive $4 kg

Least expensive $1.99 kg - Subiaco Markets

Average $3.55 kg

2006 average $13.07 kg

Back in 2006 they were three and a half times the price because Cyclone Larry wiped out stocks, making bananas literally worth their weight in gold.

LOOSE TOMATOES

Most expensive $5.99 kg

Least expensive $3.49 kg - Subiaco Markets

Average price $4.53 kg

2006 average $4.09 kg

BROCCOLI

Most expensive $5.99 kg

Least expensive $3.48 kg

Average price $4.51 kg

2006 price $3.17 kg

AVOCADO

Most expensive $2.99 each

Least expensive $0.79 each

Average price $1.79 each

2006 price $1.69 each

KIWI FRUIT

Most expensive $0.99 each

Least expensive $0.30 each

Average price $0.47 each

2006 price $0.52 each

Looking at the average basket price this year was $22.92. In 2006, it was a whopping $28.60, but remember the Bananas were pushing prices skyward then, so if we take the Bananas out of the equation, the average was around the $15 mark.

However there are still bargains to be had. Going only on price, not quality, our most expensive basket was just under $30. The cheapest half that from the Market Garden at Wanneroo Markets.

Most expensive basket $29.45

Least expensive basket $14.85 - Market Garden, Wanneroo Markets

Interestingly, prices at the country shops we checked were around the same as city prices, but remember they were big towns - Kalgoorlie, Port Hedland and Albany where volume is higher.

In any case, Jim Turley says consumers statewide are telling him they don't want to buy imported fruit and vegies, so he says we've got to support the local growers and if you won't do it for them, do it for the good of your own health.