As Woolworths and Coles get set for yet another price war, Food Connect and CERES Fair Food have joined forces to call on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to end the supermarket duopoly and urge consumers to support smaller, local businesses.
In a joint release, the groups said the dominance of Coles and Woolworths has led to increased pressure on farmers to provide cheap goods, with the two now set to fight it out over fruit and vegetable prices.
“The result is a mass exodus of farming families walking off the land at the rate of 25 per week,” it said.
According to Food Connect founder Robert Pekin, the milk price war between the two large supermarkets has seen 30 dairy farmers leave their farms.
“The ACCC should be holding the duopoly to account. Predatory pricing practices are not only illegal, but un-Australian. We say to the ACCC, are you prepared to take this on, or are you too intimidated by the duopoly?” he added.
Pekin wants the Australian public to know there is an alternative to the aggressive behaviour seen by the major supermarkets.
“I urge Australian citizens to ask themselves who grew their food and whether those farmers were paid a fair price for their hard work,” he said.
Instead of buying groceries from the large supermarkets, he suggests consumers support their local small businesses, which tend to pay farmers a fairer price for goods.