Full Inquiry Into Dairy Prices Needed Now

NEW ZEALAND - The Government needs to set up a full Commerce Commission inquiry into dairy pricing in New Zealand, Green Party food spokesperson Sue Kedgley said last today (21 Feb).
calendar icon 21 February 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Consumer New Zealand has also called for a full investigation into dairy pricing by the Commerce Commission, and the Green Party supports this call.

“There isn’t any real scrutiny of retail prices and how they are set in New Zealand,” said Ms Kedgley.

“The Green Party believes such an inquiry is long overdue. We don’t think the grocery retail sector should act under a shroud of secrecy.”

“We need much greater transparency into the pricing practices of the grocery retail sector, especially in areas like dairy where there is very little real competition.”

“In New Zealand we have only one major supplier of milk to two large supermarket chains

. “Consumers who are feeling squeezed by rising food prices need transparency into how these prices are set.”

Ms Kedgley said the inquiry should investigate claims by farmers that they receive less than 30% of the price of milk and why despite claims that high international dairy prices are to blame for rising prices. Countries such as Australia often sell milk at lower prices and prices don’t come down when the international price falls.

“We also need to make sure that supermarkets are not charging exorbitant mark-ups on milk as we found with fresh fruit and produce in last year’s Green Party Growers survey.*

“While we welcome the announcement by Fonterra and the supermarkets that they will freeze the price of milk this year, this is merely a stop-gap solution.

“The Government must either launch a Commerce Commission inquiry immediately or agree to a Select Committee inquiry into dairy prices,” Ms Kedgley said.

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