Food industry alliance meets with ACCC to secure level playing field for family-owned food businesses

Newly formed Food Industry Alliance wants to ensure food is as available and affordable as
possible for the consumer.

Just days after announcing the newly formed Food Industry Alliance (FIA), a group of food
industry and farmer organisations representing $220 billion in sales, has met with both the
Chair and Deputy Chair of the ACCC to ensure they understand market power issues during
these unprecedented food supply disruptions, so that family-owned independent
businesses can continue their critical role in providing food to the community.

The Alliance has asked the ACCC to consider competition reform policy to protect
businesses from unfair and anti-competitive commercial practices that could unfairly
squeeze farmers and SMEs. The Alliance asked the ACCC to look at consumer and small
business law reform, to strengthen unfair contract terms, unfair trading practices and
potentially unconscionable conduct.

FIA Spokesperson, Richard Forbes says, “We were encouraged to hear that all our areas of
concern were being considered seriously by the ACCC and its new Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.
Ensuring a level playing field across the food industry and protecting independent food
businesses is critical. Our focus is now to engage with the new government to ensure they
understand our issues and why investigating and potentially strengthening competition
policy is imperative to a vibrant equitable food industry which respects all stakeholders
along the supply chain”.

The FIA says the Australian food industry is facing a perfect storm of domestic and
international challenges so family owned, independent businesses, that provide billions of
tonnes of food to the domestic market must be heard. Farmers, processors, distributors,
independent supermarkets, grocers and butchers and food businesses supplying cafes,
restaurants, convenience stores, pubs and clubs all play an important part in the food
system. The large food retailers play an important role but many other facets of the food
industry do as well. The Alliance also represents those that provide food to institutional
facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools, childcare centres, military bases, and

The Alliance either represents, or supplies food to, over 156,000 businesses with almost
1 million employees with a combined revenue of a staggering $220 billion.

The FIA includes: Independent Food Distributors Australia (IFDA), The National Farmers Federation (NFF), Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), Master Grocers Australia (MGA) and the Australian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS).

The Alliance also looks forward to working constructively with the new Federal Government

  • The labour shortage crisis, which has meant fruit and vegetables have remained unpicked, meat processing remains under capacity, grocery shelves are slow to be restocked, and restaurants and cafes are forced to operate sub-optimal business hours
  • Solutions to the rising costs within the supply chain, which are significantly impacting food businesses. These include fuel and energy.
  • Addressing domestic supply chain inefficiencies to ensure Australia is less vulnerable to international forces and that there is better contingency planning during natural disasters and other events, to ensure ‘all’ those in the food supply chain are considered when there is reduced availability of food supplies.

The group says if these issues are not addressed as a matter of priority, then there is
increased potential to see food price inflation and more disruptions in terms of availability.

Media contact:

Independent Food Distributors Australia
Richard Forbes, Chief Executive Officer
0427 270 687

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