Green Party welcomes Commerce Commission’s draft findings, cautions against wait and hope solutions

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party welcomes the findings of the Commerce Commission’s report on competition in the retail grocery sector, which takes aim at the duopoly formed by Woolworths NZ and Foodstuffs.

“The report paints a grim picture of how our communities are being deprived of access to affordable, fresh food by the overt profit-seeking of these two supermarket chains,” says Green Party Commerce & Consumer Affairs spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March.

“We are pleased the Commerce Commission is considering a mandatory code of conduct and options to strengthen suppliers’ bargaining power with retailers.

“However, we’re concerned with proposals to just add another major supermarket chain into the sector. This is a wait and hope approach that does not guarantee fairer prices and better access to fresh food.

“It would also continue to lock us into the wasteful and often unaffordable dependence on supermarkets as our main access point to food.

“We need to be talking about alternative solutions to getting fresh produce to communities, such as local or central government providing spaces for local suppliers to get their food directly to consumers.

“The current system is broken, so we need a clear vision for the future of our food system,” Menéndez March says.

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