SELLING WELL: Betros Bros Dalby manager Geoff Hawton said strawberry sales were up despite the crisis.
SELLING WELL: Betros Bros Dalby manager Geoff Hawton said strawberry sales were up despite the crisis. Michael Doyle

Berry buyers out in force

DALBY residents are buying strawberries by the tray in the wake of the national contamination scandal.

After news broke of strawberries being spiked with needles the growers faced significant losses.

The contamination saga is now affecting bananas and apples and authorities are working to find those responsible.

Geoff Hawton, the manager of Dalby grocery store Betros Bros, said customers had responded well to the crisis with strawberry sales increasing.

Mr Hawton said his store didn't carry any of the affected lines, and he had had a sign up in store informing customers there was no problem.

Mr Hawton said he believed the community was rallying behind strawberry producers by buying more punnets.

"On the first day the customers were concerned and strawberry sales dropped dramatically,” he said.

"But since then we have seen an increase in sales.

"People want to help the industry by purchasing more to help keep growers afloat.”

Mr Hawton said initially a few customers asked about fruit contamination.

But after a few phone calls the concern was minimal.

"We have had the hospital ring us to make sure everything is OK,” he said.

"We have had a few customers ring up with general inquiries.

Mr Hawton said he encouraged anyone who bought strawberries to take the advice of cutting the fruit before eating.


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