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  • Renee Cluff

    Email Renee Cluff

    Bare supermarket shelves produce buy local push in Tropical North Queensland

    Supermarket shelves are slowly being re-stocked, even though heavy rain from the monsoon trough is keeping Tropical North Queensland cut off from the south of the state.

    In Cairns, stocks of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and bread dwindled over the weekend, with trucks unable to deliver fresh supplies.

    Shoppers soon turned to local retailers for their groceries.

    Warren Jonsson, of Jonsson’s Farm Markets, told Tropic Now his stores at Smithfield and Earlville have been extremely busy.

    “When Coles and Woollies were out of stock on the weekend, we got smashed,” he said.

    “We doubled our sales yesterday compared to what we normally do.

    “We had a cold room full and it’s just gone.”

    Mr Jonsson said while he sources as much produce as he can direct from farms in the region, it’s not always possible to fully stock his shelves with locally-grown goods.

    “At this time, a lot of stuff comes down from down south because it’s too wet to grow anything here,” he said.

    “We’ve still got plenty of steak, potatoes and pumpkin, because that’s what we can grow.”

    Coles yesterday chartered a plane, which landed in Cairns with 300 tonnes of groceries onboard – half of which has now been taken to Townsville.

    Woolworths is also air-freighting a further 40 tonnes of fresh food, which will arrive in Cairns today.

    Further south, 300 tonnes of fresh food and essential items like nappies and baby formula has been delivered to Townsville by a Woolworths barge.

    The Bruce Highway north of Townsville has now re-opened, allowing some of those groceries to be sent to communities further north.

    Supplies are expected to reach Ingham around midday.