Prices for some vegetables have doubled and quadrupled in some cases due to an "unprecedented" humid growing season.

Growers of green vegetables in the North Island have seen crops dying in the ground, as humid conditions wilt vulnerable young plants before they have time to properly establish.

Sellers and buyers are already feeling the pinch.

John Storie, from John's Produce Centre in Oropi, said the price to buy broccoli has gone up about four times in value, cauliflowers three times, and lettuces just under three times the cost to buy from our suppliers.


"It's been unprecedented humid conditions and a lot of the young plants aren't coming on as they should or are dying off quickly. It's been nearly 100 per cent humidity."

Storie said he was having a hard time keeping enough quality produce on the shelves and at the same time not pass extra costs on to customers.

"We're hardly making a bean on it, and because supermarkets are desperate to take as much quality produce as they can it's hard for us to compete," he said.

The past couple of days the humidity had fallen slightly, and he hoped better-growing conditions were on the way, Storie said.

Michael Sami, manager of the Choice Food and Spices store in Cameron Rd, Tauranga, said last week they had no vegetables in their shop because of the increased supply prices.

"No one is going to pay $7 for a cauli or $4 for a head of broccoli, and the price of onions has skyrocketed.

"Last Friday we paid $15 for a $20kg bag of onions and when I went back to the market on Monday the same sized bag was $30. That's a huge jump in just three days."

Sami said he was reluctant to pass on those extra costs to loyal customers.


Supply prices had increased about the same time last year but this year there was unprecedented price hikes, but there was not much he could do.

He also hoped cooler growing conditions were on the way.

Shopper Claire Jones, 35, said she and her husband had grown most of their own vegetables in their in a medium-sized plot at their Tauriko home the past four years.

"We're mostly self-sufficient but buy our dried legumes for Choice Food and Spice store and a few vegetables from time to time, she said.

Jones said this growing season they had also lost a few crops, like their lettuces, because of the humidity but could live on kale and puha if they had to.

Jones said there was no substitute for growing your own veggies, and it was a cost saving, particularly at times like this.