WAHIAWA, Hawaii (KHON2) — The latest Consumer Price Index showed more than a 10% jump in overall food prices since December, 2021.
That number is up almost 60% when it comes to eggs, and Peterson’s Upland Farm in Wahiawa said it is due to avian flu in migratory birds on the mainland.
“I think if they get the avian influenza in like one part of their farm, or one of their houses, they have to destroy the whole farm,” said Sharon Peterson Cheape, manager of Peterson’s Upland Farms. “We don’t have any migratory birds, so hopefully, except for the golden plover that comes from Alaska.”
She had not heard of any reports of avian flu in Hawaii as of Thursday, Jan. 12, but local farmers are still struggling. Rising prices for cardboard, fuel and transportation all factor in.
Egg prices are certainly top of mind for consumers, but the problem also trickles down to farmers when they need replacement chicks for their flocks.
“You’ve got your set schedule and so when that gets disrupted by avian influenza, it just causes havoc for everyone,” Cheape said. “Everyone’s in line and everyone is needing birds, so even here locally, it’s harder to get replacement birds.”
Peterson’s has not raised prices since October, 2022. That has left Aiea resident Joe Black’s wallet — and belly — happy.
“Budget, budget, budget. You tend to use it more for other things than food so, you got to go places where you can shop conveniently and be happy,” Black said.
Peterson’s knows that everyone is struggling, especially as a generational business.
“Especially our kupuna and you know, young families that are struggling , everything else is so high,” Cheape said. “And so I know we could really raise the prices, but we just, right now we don’t want to.”
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Peterson’s Upland Farm runs on a drive-thru basis from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.