TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TONNES OF PERISHABLE PRODUCTS AT RISK BECAUSE OF LOCKDOWNS
Independent food distributors 70% down in revenue
Hundreds of family-owned and operated food distribution businesses are facing million-dollar losses because of Australia’s lockdowns.
Australia’s independent food industry is faced with limited opportunity to sell their products due to the closure of many cafes, restaurants, hotels and clubs across NSW, Victoria and South Australia. There is an increasing risk that tens of thousands of tons of perishable goods will have to be thrown out when they reach their use-by-date.
Richard Hinson, Chairman of industry body Independent Food Distributors Australia (IFDA), said café and restaurant owners are shutting up shop for the foreseeable future because they are sick and tired of the stop/start nature of lockdowns.
“The closure of Australia’s hospitality scene has a trickle-down effect on our members who supply these venues. Restaurant and cafes are cancelling their orders for millions of dollars’ worth of perishable food and other goods.”
Mr Hinson called on the Federal Government to consider introducing additional concessions for independent food distributors.
“Similar to the instant asset write-off tax concessions introduced for other sectors in 2020, small businesses that operate in the food distribution sector should have the ability to write off the cost of these perishable goods for tax purposes,” he said.
“We call on State and Federal Treasurers and Ministers for Small Business to support our request given the food distribution industry directly and indirectly supports tens of thousands of jobs across the country. Many of these jobs are now at risk which is a significant issue given nearly 50% of food distribution warehouses are in regional and remote areas.”
Mr Hinson also said a date for reopening, such as that provided to the construction industry in NSW, would also help IFDA’s members.
“Clear roadmaps provide the business community with a greater ability to plan and ultimately survive the current situation. Our members operate high volume and very low margin wholesale business models, with high fixed overhead expenses”.
The independent food distribution sector has a collective member purchasing power of $7 billion dollars. It supports local communities by purchasing products from thousands of local manufacturers, suppliers and farmers before on-selling and distributing that food to over 100,000 cafes, hotels, clubs and pubs.
It also provides food to many operations that are essential services including hospitals, aged care facilities, schools, childcare centres and military bases, all of which need a reliable supply of food to maintain operations.
Contact: Jamin Smith 0451 755 355