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Queenslanders reduce grocery spending before phone, internet

A survey has shown Queenslanders will reduce spending on groceries before they cut back on phone and internet usage.

The Courier Mail’s online survey found almost half of respondents said they are spending less on groceries while only 37 per cent said they were reducing their mobile phone and internet usage to save money.

Over 2300 people have completed the survey.

The willingness to reduce spending on groceries is a concern for local industries, as the private label dominance in the big two supermarkets fill up shelves.

The big businesses that are Woolworths and Coles are able to offer similar alternatives to consumer favourites for a reduced cost, as they cut deals with suppliers and push Australian companies out of business.

The supermarkets have even been accused of deliberately copying the packaging designs of well-known brands to confuse consumers, and the Australian Food and Grocery Council has called on a Supermarket Ombudsman to be appointed to oversee the behaviors of the supermarkets, or risk 130 000 workers from the food and grocery sector being out of work by 2020.

Eventually, expert predict, Australia will rely on more imports of lower-quality products, and prices will eventually return to the same level or higher.

“The perspective is that if there’s no Australian industry, just import,” spokesperson for Australia’s peak growers representative body, Simon Coburn, told Food Magazine.

“The [produce] industry will die off, probably not slowly, and imports will start flooding the market.

“So we face more imports and lose our identity and in the end the consumer will pay the same if not higher and we won’t have an Australian industry to fall back on.”

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