AVOCADO prices have skyrocketed this summer, with many cafes and restaurants on the Northern Rivers forced to charge customers extra if they want the fruit on their plate.
Chief executive of Avocados Australia John Tyas said the massive price increase was due to a shortfall in supply.
"During the Christmas period supplies were down a bit for a number of reasons," Mr Tyas said.
"There were a couple of weeks there where supply was really low but now we are finding suppliers have really increased but it is a delayed effect of the reduced fruit going through into markets at the same time."
Some retailers in the Northern Rivers use avocadoes in a number of their dishes on the menu.
Owner of Belle General and Belle Central at Ballina, Kyla Plummer, said they had been surprised by the jump in price.
She said they were used to an increase in price around this time of year but said this was the first time they had seen it jump to a $100 a tray.
She said they would usually pay around $45 to $55 a tray at other times of the year.
"Bearing in mind that a tray of avocados, depending on size, may only be 15 to 16 avocados, and that is now $100," Ms Plummer said.
"Customers know what the price of avocados are in store and they also know that they can trust we will try and source great quality so that is our focus," she said.
"We love putting out really great quality food and that is a high priority."
"Whilst we source quality avos at this time of year we always recommend to eat locally and seasonally for the best produce, prices and environmental impact."
Mr Tyas said the industry's main concern was the effect the price hike had on buyers.
"In reality, the industry doesn't like to see prices get that high because obviously that brings in some buyer resistance and it takes time for consumers to start buying avocados again if they've stopped because of price," he said.
He predicts the prices of avocados will ease over the next few months.
"There are a lot of new plantings going in around the country to help try increase the supplies during this period but as I said it is a difficult time of year for us to supply," Mr Tyas said.
"We've got the new season shepard avocados from North Queensland coming online next month and then we'll see total supplies really ramp up from there."
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