If a private member’s bill by both Senator Nick Xenophon and Bob Katter passes through the new session of the Australian Federal Parliament, supermarkets will be required to show what percentage of the price of their fresh produce actually goes to the farmers who grow the food.
The bill is called the Farm Gate Pricing Bill will only pass if a major party supports it.
The media advisor for the Senator, Rohan Wenn, said; “The Bill would allow consumers to see the price the supermarket is charging in contrast with the amount the primary producer is receiving. Independent grocers would be exempt but major supermarkets would be required to publish the farm gate prices at point of sale and also on their websites. Farmers have previously expressed concern that there is a huge gap between what the supermarkets charge and how much the farmers are paid for fresh produce.”
The two major supermarkets were either not commenting about the potential new requirement or stated that when farm gate pricing was investigated in 2008 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) it was not considered “a significant problem”.
A spokesperson for Choice, Ingrid Just, said, “We think it is better if the position of a supermarket ombudsman is created to become the independent arbitrator. There is only so much information that consumers can take in when juggling kids, crowds, and shopping lists at supermarkets. An ombudsman would allow for a dedicated focus for people with grievances to take them to. The information would be better in the hands of a regulator who could follow through on what needs to be done. Meanwhile, it is also up to the ACCC to see if there is a misuse of market power.”
Written by Rachelle Williams – The Green Food Safety Coach
Twitter – GreenFoodSafety