The price of a head of lettuce is quickly becoming the mark of a nation in crisis but one local producer is resisting any form of cost hike.
Volcano Produce Illowa owner Ben Pohlner said the price of all his produce, including onions, broccoli, leek and fennel had stayed the same and he would not increase them.
Residents are still able to purchase a head of cos lettuce from Mr Pohlner for under $4.
It comes as external costs including rising fuel, transport and packaging prices have resulted in wide-spread inflation of fresh produce in major retail chains.
A head of lettuce at both Coles and Woolworths will set residents back $5.50.
The internet was also sent into a frenzy when KFC announced it would partly replace lettuce with cabbage to cut costs last week.
But Mr Pohlner said the importance of buying local trumped profitability.
"We're not interested in bumping our prices up," Mr Pohlner said.
"We see it as an opportunity to encourage people to try our product and to buy local, that's what it's all about.
"We were selling lettuce at the market for $3 and $4 at our roadside stall just because everything else there is that price so we make it all the same.
"That's the price it's always been."
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He also said external costs had little impact on his business.
"It's all about trying to get people to buy local," he said.
"We don't have a lot of the costs of transport and fuel making an impact. We've worked out what it costs us to make a profit and that's what we're selling them for irrespective of how the market is going.
"We're shielded very much from the external costs here."
Mr Pohlner's produce remained readily available when a supply chain crushed supermarkets in January this year.
At the time he told The Standard the COVID-19 pandemic had turned his business into a thriving lifeline for many.
For now, he said his mission to keep costs low was to continue to educate residents and show them the range of produce available in the region.
"It's to open people's eyes to the produce they have on their doorstep," Mr Pohlner said.
"If price is the motivator, then they can come in and buy something that's a bit cheaper because when the prices in the supermarkets do come down hopefully they'll know we've got a top product available at their back door."
He said there were many benefits to purchasing fresh food from a spray-free family farm such as his.
"We operate on absolute minimal packaging and are environmentally-friendly where possible," Mr Pohlner said.
"We're just about to start using biodegradable orange bags and that's the only thing we have there that can't go in the compost bin.
"We operate on minimal packaging, we use paper bags, even the punnets we use for strawberries are biodegradable."
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