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August 7, 2008

AUS: Producers “frustrated” with competition investigation

Industry bodies representing Australia’s producers have criticised the country’s competition watchdog for its failure to address supply chain issues in its inquiry into the grocery sector.

Industry bodies representing Australia’s producers have criticised the country’s competition watchdog for its failure to address supply chain issues in its inquiry into the grocery sector.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) grocery price inquiry focused heavily on competition between retailers, but failed to shed significant light on the food supply chain, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) said yesterday (6 August).


“Although the ACCC analysis has started the process, farmers remain bemused as to why there is such a huge gap between what farmers are paid at the farm-gate and what consumers are charged at the checkout,” NFF vice president Charles Burke said.


While the ACCC investigation did call for the introduction of written contracts between retailers and suppliers, the NFF suggested that this does not go far enough. The NFF has called for a “comprehensive review” of the supply chain.


“Despite the inquiry terms of reference clearly calling for analysis on the entire supply chain, the NFF has been concerned that the inquiry has focused too heavily on the retail sector. The ACCC report reinforces our view, with the actions of many within the supply chain remaining relatively ignored,” Burke said.

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