Coles and Woolworths’ dominating duopoly, along with the fierce competition from international giants like Aldi, has forced the closure of all-Australian online grocer Aussie Farmers Direct.
After 13 years of operations Farmers Direct announced on Monday it had gone into administration, blaming its closure on its inability to continue competing against the major supermarkets and the influx of cheap imported produce.
Agronomy expert Dr Daniel Tan of the University of Sydney agreed, saying that Australian grocery shoppers should be concerned.
“The intense competition from a low-margin retail environment, big supermarkets which had large buying power and access to low-cost imported products possibly contributed to the collapse of Farmers Direct.” Dr Tan said.
The demise of Aussie Farmers Direct is another major casualty in Australia’s Fresh Produce sector. It’s the result of the major supermarkets abusing their buying power and bypassing the central market system which local retailers have traditionally traded through, forcing anti-competitive pricing at the expense of quality and the future longevity of Australia’s fruit and vegetable industry.
It is at times like this that the importance of industry initiatives like Your Local Greengrocer become increasingly apparent as a crucial means of fighting back for the independent Australian farmers, wholesaler and greengrocers.
Farmers Direct’s collapse in the face of the supermarket giants has experts warning that if Coles and Woolworths’ domination continues to price out smaller retailers, it could lead to higher prices for consumers.
“Once the big supermarkets squeeze out most of the smaller grocery stores in Australia, they may start raising prices again,” Dr Tan said.
“International multinational retailers may also send profits and jobs overseas.”
“Australian consumers should try to support their local [Greengrocer] and local farmers.”
Dr Louise Grimmer agreed that consumers should be worried when smaller operators offering alternatives to the ‘big two’ are pushed from the market.
“It will have an impact on product choice, product availability and even price.”
Australian consumers can fight back against this unsettling trend and positively influence how the future of our Fresh Produce industry will play out. It’s simple: Support Your Local Greengrocer. Visit Your Local Greengrocer’s store locator and find your nearest participating member. And if your local fruit and veg shop isn’t there, let them know to get on board and Join The Revolution!
Original article by The New Daily