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


The Australian town where one jar of coffee costs $74 because of rising fuel and freight costs

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

A jar of coffee has been priced at a whopping $74 in a remote Northern Territory town as the prices for fuel and freight skyrocket.

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

One kilogram of Nescafe instant coffee was seen costing $74.25 while small pots of cream cost almost $8 and powdered milk are at $10.25.

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

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

A sign at the store said the ‘significant cost increases’ in fuel and freight were to blame for the price hikes.

‘Over the past two years we have done our best to absorb these increases in an effort to keep prices down … however, this is no longer sustainable,’ it read. 

A spokeswoman for the ALAC said the corporation is not only facing drastically increased fuel and transport costs but also labour costs due to Fairwork’s recent minimum wage increase.

‘Fairwork Australia’s decision, whilst understandable and fair, will add over $1,000,000 to our employment costs across our activities and businesses,’ she told ABC

Urapunga's community store said it is selling barely any meat (above) because residents cannot keep up with inflated prices

Urapunga’s community store said it is selling barely any meat (above) because residents cannot keep up with inflated prices

The organisation is paying an extra $250,000 a quarter in freight charges, compared to the same period last year. 

She said the corporation has seen customers ‘having to take products out of their shopping baskets to make their dollars stretch’ and is doing its best to limit the costs passed on to customers.

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

Corned beef is priced at $15 but the store’s manager Jake Clarke said fruit and veges were being sold cheaper to ensure residents had access to healthy food.

He added it was the first time in a decade he’d been forced to raise the margin on food items.

Weather, lack of supply, rising fuel and energy costs were all to blame, he said.

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

Foodbank South Australia and Central Australia chief executive Greg Pattison said Alice Springs residents were also turning to charity amid the rising food cost crisis. 

Remote Northern Territory communities are facing a growing food crisis with transport costs sending basic grocery costs through the roof (pictured, Urapunga)

Remote Northern Territory communities are facing a growing food crisis with transport costs sending basic grocery costs through the roof (pictured, Urapunga)

‘We’re starting to see people come in who aren’t necessarily people you would think would require welfare assistance. They are people for whom the cost of living has meant they can’t feed their families,’ he said.

He said the running cost of the charity has increased by about $50,000 per month.

Urapunga, 613km southeast of Darwin, community store worker Mandy Jeffs said residents don’t buy much meat because ‘it has become too expensive’.

She said she noticed the ‘incredible’ price jumps after returning from a two-week break.

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