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Romaine lettuce prices soar 61% as farmers deliberately grow less

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Romaine lettuce prices soar 61% as farmers deliberately grow less

| Business News Today | abc News


If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a head of romaine lettuce these days, it’ll cost you a lot of cabbage.

The price of a pound of romaine recently climbed 61% from a year earlier to $3.27 – the highest price since 2006, according to Bloomberg.

This is the largest price increase on record for any food item, including various cuts of meat, whose prices have soared by up to 20% due to labor shortages and logistical problems in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants.

In the case of lettuce and other selected crops, farmers are voluntarily growing less because they don’t want to end up with excesses given the market volatility since the start of the pandemic.

Fertilizers have become more expensive and a shortage of truckers means it costs more to transport produce, adding to financial pressures and risking a squeeze on the agricultural sector.

“If farmers are on the wrong side of the demand curve, they’re screwed,” Barry Friends of restaurant consultancy Pentalllect Inc. told Bloomberg. “If I have to plow it or throw it on the market for cheap, I don’t want to lose that money. I’m just not going to grow it.

Inflation hit its highest level in four decades, with consumer prices jumping 7% for the year ending in December, according to data released by the Department of Labor earlier this week.

The price spike has made other necessities more expensive. A dozen eggs, which cost $1.48 a year ago, now cost $1.79. A pound of sliced ​​bacon now costs $7.21, down from $5.83 this time a year ago.

A combination of strong demand and weak supply has pushed the price of crops like lettuce to its highest level since 2006.
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Fruit is 7.9% more expensive than it was in the same period 12 months ago. The price of oranges jumped 8.9% between November and December.

A pound of lean ground beef that cost $5.71 in December 2020 would cost you $6.32 a year later. A pound of boneless sirloin steak that cost $8.98 in December 2020 ended up costing $11.05 last month.

Gasoline, tobacco products and new and used cars have also become more expensive over the past year.

Romaine lettuce prices soar 61% as farmers deliberately grow less

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