Federal MP’s calls for more transparent produce pricing

A new bill calling for more transparency on food pricing will be introduced to Federal Parliament next week.

Independents Bob Katter and Nick Xenephon want retailers to display the prices they paid to growers for produce next to the price they are charging in-store.

A peak industry body told the ABC the move would be a step in the right direction for growers and consumers.

"There’s a massive mark-up on products that go through supermarkets, and this bill is going to try to add some transparency to the entire system to ensure that growers are getting a fair go," William Churchill from Ausveg said.

While there is no doubt something needs to be done to ensure growers and farmers aren’t being unfairly treated, many are saying the transparent pricing system would not work in reality.

"It’s difficult to see how it would work in practice," National Association of Retail Grocers Australian chairman John Cummings said.

"The one thing that we have called for some time, going back to the grocery inquiry run by the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), was for somebody to look into the transparency of prices."

"That is, is the farmer getting a fair return for his produce and are consumers paying a fair price for that produce?"

Woolworths said in a statement to Food Magazine that the measure was unnecessary.

“The issue of farm gate prices was fully explored by the ACCC in their comprehensive inquiry on grocery prices and found not to be a significant problem,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.

But growers are determined not to allow a similar incident to the milk price wars occur, when dairy farmers said they were severely disadvantaged by Coles’ decision to slash milk to $1 a litre, causing Woolworths to follow suit.

An inquiry was held, but the ACCC cleared Coles of any wrongdoing in the case, much to the disappointment of farmers.

Food Magazine has contacted Coles for comments on transparency of pricing.

Image: The Herald Sun

 

 

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