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Remote communities in the Northern Territory as facing major food price increases with $74 coffee

The Australian city where a pot of coffee costs $74 because of rising fuel and freight costs

  • Ramingining, 558 km east of Darwin, residents pay $74 for instant coffee
  • Remote cities struggle to afford food amid rising fuel and freight costs
  • Another store in the NT said they had to raise prices for the first time in ten years

A pot of coffee is priced at a whopping $74 in a remote Northern Territory town, while fuel and freight prices skyrocket.

Residents of Ramingining, a small town 558km east of Darwin, have been stunned by the prices at the local Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation store.

A kilo of Nescafe instant coffee cost $74.25, while small jars of cream cost nearly $8 and powdered milk is $10.25.

The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation store in Ramingining, NT, has been forced to charge $74 for a kilo of instant coffee (above) amid rising fuel and transportation costs

The Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation store in Ramingining, NT, has been forced to charge $74 for a kilo of instant coffee (above) amid rising fuel and transportation costs

A sign at the store stated that “significant cost increases” in fuel and freight were the cause of the price increases.

“Over the past two years we have done our best to absorb these increases in an effort to keep prices down … but this is no longer sustainable,” it said.

An ALAC spokeswoman said the company is facing not only dramatically increased fuel and transportation costs, but also labor costs as a result of Fairwork’s recent increase in the minimum wage.

“Fairwork Australia’s decision, while understandable and fair, will add more than $1,000,000 to our labor costs across all of our operations and businesses,” she said. ABC

Urapunga's convenience store said it barely sells meat (above) because residents can't keep up with the high prices

Urapunga’s convenience store said it barely sells meat (above) because residents can’t keep up with the high prices

The organization pays an additional $250,000 per quarter in freight charges, compared to the same period last year.

She said the company has seen customers “have to remove products from their shopping carts to stretch their dollars” and is doing its best to limit costs passed on to customers.

High prices have also been seen in Wadeye’s Murrinhpatha Nimmipa Store – the only store open in a 400km radius.

Corned beef costs $15, but the store’s manager, Jake Clarke, said fruits and vegetables were sold more cheaply to ensure residents had access to healthy food.

He added that it was the first time in ten years that he had to increase the margin on food products.

The weather, lack of supplies, rising fuel and energy costs were all to blame, he said.

“We’re getting to the point where we’re just covering our costs. It’s not because I want to, it’s because I have to,” he told the publication.

Greg Pattison, CEO of the South Australia and Central Australia Food Bank, said the residents of Alice Springs are also turning to charity amid the mounting food cost crisis.

Remote communities in the Northern Territory face a growing food crisis with transportation costs driving up the cost of basic groceries (photo, Urapunga)

Remote communities in the Northern Territory face a growing food crisis with transportation costs driving up the cost of basic groceries (photo, Urapunga)

“We’re starting to see people come in who aren’t necessarily people you would think need assistance. They are people for whom the cost of living has left them unable to feed their families,” he said.

He said the charity’s operating expenses have increased by about $50,000 a month.

In Urapunga, 613 km southeast of Darwin, shop assistant Mandy Jeffs said residents don’t buy much meat because “it’s gotten too expensive.”

She said she noticed the “incredible” price increases after coming back from a two-week break.

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