25 September 2012
Joint media release
Senator The Hon. Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Hon. David Bradbury MP, Assistant Treasurer
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, and Assistant Treasurer, the Hon David Bradbury MP, yesterday convened a forum on Food Sector Relationships bringing together representatives from along the food supply chain.
Representatives of the major supermarket chains, farmers, food producers and manufacturers came together in Sydney to talk about how to improve relationships as part of consultation on Australia’s first National Food Plan.
Minister Ludwig said that during the consultations on the recently released National Food Plan green paper many people expressed concern about the relationships between supermarkets and their suppliers.
“It was of great importance to participants that improvements were made to the way they work together. This would help to ensure that Australia had a strong and vibrant food sector which could ensure a fairer deal for everyone,” Minister Ludwig said.
Minister Ludwig said the forum was an opportunity for all parties to come together to discuss ways to improve current ties as well as address issues that could adversely impact commercial relationships in the future.
“Participants acknowledged that a strong and growing food industry was dependent on having food producers and food retailers work together and that the industry had the key role of managing relationships throughout the supply chain,” Minister Ludwig said.
“It was great to see industry participants working together to develop a framework for improving commercial relationships along the food supply chain.”
Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury, said participants identified key priorities and discussed how to develop a shared vision.
“Participants heard from the Produce and Grocery Industry Ombudsman and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission about existing mechanisms regulating commercial transactions. There was a common view that improvements could be made and are best led by industry,” Minister Bradbury said.
“The government supports an industry led approach to improving the effectiveness and efficiency of Australia’s supply chain. We look forward to receiving a proposal from industry later this year.”
The forum was undertaken as part of consultations, launched in July on the National Food Plan green paper. Final comments on the green paper must be submitted by the 30 September 2012 closing date.
For more information visit the National Food Plan website.