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ABA Calls for ACCC To Be Scrapped

04 February 2011

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Beef Association has hit out at the performance of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and has called on the government to scrap it.

ABA Chairman, Brad Bellinger said the ACCC is meant to be a consumer watchdog' but he said it behaves like an overfed Labrador, defending or threatening no one.

"We see it as a complete waste of taxpayers' money," he said.

"The ABA gave evidence at the 2008 ACCC Grocery Inquiry, when we showed that the US cattlemen were getting 30 per cent more than Australian cattlemen but US consumers were paying 40 per cent less than Australian consumers. Our supermarket duopoly was making a 'mark up' of over 100 per cent.

"We proved this with simple example of converting a carcase of beef to mince only. Mince was then selling for around $13/kg. It is now around $10/kg with cattle prices nearly 20 per cent higher than when the Inquiry was on. At that time Coles claimed a three per cent mark up on beef and Woolworths a 17 per cent mark up. Coles suggested that 53 per cent of the value of the checkout price went to the producer! We say that 27 per cent was going to the producer; ' whilst in the US, UK and New Zealand the producer was getting between 45 to 50 per cent of the consumer dollar.

"It is time for Minister Emerson to pull the life support plug on this comatosed Labrador - the ACCC," Mr Bellinger said.

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