Carbon price must not affect industry competitiveness, AFGC says

Posted by Rita Mu

The Federal Government’s proposed price on carbon must not harm the competitiveness of Australian food exports and imports, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has said.

The Council’s Chief Executive Kate Carnell said that any emissions reduction scheme – or a price on carbon – should not give any country an unfair competitive advantage over Australia, whether on Australian supermarket shelves or in the global marketplace.

According to the AFGC, food and grocery imports increased up to 40 per cent over the past five years, leading food and grocery manufacturers are under constant pressure to remain competitive.

Meanwhile, the National Farmers’ Federation has said it is skeptical about the scheme, saying food production will be affected by the rise in energy costs in the agriculture sector.

The food and grocery is Australia’s largest manufacturing sector, worth more than $102 billion annually in turn-over to the nation and accounts for 9 per cent of Australia’s international trade valued at $449 billion in 2008-09.

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