Farmers Lose Billions: Urgent Supply Chain Inquiry Needed

NSW Farmers is calling for an immediate ACCC inquiry into the grain supply chain following reports of billions of dollars bleeding from the economy.

According to GrainGrowers, ‘large pricing anomalies’ last year saw farmers underpaid for their grains and oilseeds despite high global prices and constrained supply due to the war in Ukraine.

NSW Farmers Grains Committee chair Justin Everitt said farmers were bleeding billions of dollars a year – holding back the economy – and the Australian Government must immediately act and direct the ACCC to review the grain supply chain, the market, and pricing fairness.

“There are market failures occurring across the supply chain due to a lack of competition, and there is the real possibility of monopolistic behaviour because of bottlenecks in the system,” Mr Everitt said.

“We’re out there in the paddock trying to grow food for Australia and the world, but then we’re forced to take lower prices because we don’t have the supply chains or markets that would allow real competition.

“NSW Farmers has written to the Treasurer and the Agriculture Minister and so far – no response – but we’re hopeful more attention on the issue will spur them into action.”

Mr Everitt said the Australian Government could compel an in-depth ACCC inquiry using Section 95 powers, which would provide essential recommendations for government to deliver reforms to optimise the functionality of the industry and address grower concerns about the underpricing of Australian grain.

“While all inquiries hold their own advantages and merit, ultimately we need an inquiry that is clear in its scope and delivery of a review into international markets our growers operate in, not just a talk-fest,” Mr Everitt said.

“We need greater market transparency to maximise performance and delivery of equitable prices for growers, and we call on the Australian Government to direct the ACCC to undertake this pricing inquiry.

“Failure to act on this important issue will see our economy continue to bleed billions of dollars when we can least afford it, we need immediate action.”

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