One of the biggest issues facing Australia right now is the rising cost-of-living crisis, which is being driven by rising inflation and surging interest rates.
Families are increasingly finding themselves on the receiving end of higher mortgage repayments or rents while their power bills skyrocket and even their groceries are becoming more expensive.
There are reports that nurses and teachers are turning to food banks because they're struggling to afford food for their families, and recent research from Suncorp found almost half of Australians can't afford to fill their trolley and four in five Aussies were trying to cut their food costs.
It's incredibly frustrating for farmers to see this situation play out, because we pride ourselves on producing healthy plants and healthy animals to feed and clothe people, especially since we're getting gouged on the other end of the supply chain.
When you look at our markets the prices paid to farmers have crashed in real terms while the cost of production is going up and up. Beef and lamb prices are almost half of what they were a year ago, but for some reason the retail price of steaks, chops and roasts has barely moved.
Which begs the question that should be on everyone's lips: What on earth is going on?
NSW Farmers is calling on the Federal Government to implement competition reforms that will tackle these cost-of-living pressures, bringing down prices for consumers, and ensuring a fairer market for farmers.
The ACCC made several recommendations in its 2020 Perishable Agricultural Goods Inquiry that have been largely ignored so far, such as an economy-wide prohibition on unfair trading practices and making the Food and Grocery Code mandatory with civil penalties for breaches.
We believe the incredible power imbalances in our food supply chain are driving farmers out of business and grocery prices up for every Australian, and if our governments want to deal with this very real issue then taking the recommendations of the consumer watchdog seriously will be a good place to start.
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