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Beef Industry Asks for Price Inquiry

23 March 2012

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Beef Association is supporting a full inquiry into supermarket powers and their affect on beef prices, and producers share of the market. ABA highlighted that Australian producers receive only 30 per cent of price of beef paid by the consumer, whereas in the US, producers receive as much as 50 per cent.

ABA Chairman Brad Bellinger said that the latest statistics from the United States give the official figure for the farmer’s share of the consumer dollar at 49.9 per cent over the last 12 months.

In fact over the past five years the producer in the USA has been steadily increasing his percentage at the check-out. Competition in the market place has not only led to higher prices for cattle in the USA but delivered cheaper prices to consumers. Despite a “prices are down” advertising campaign from Australian supermarkets with a promise to deliver cheaper beef prices, nothing has been done to change Australians producers pathetic 30 per cent of the consumer dollar, he said.

Mr Bellinger continued that the United States cattleman was also at a considerable production cost advantage over Australia - with no mandatory national livestock identification service, no LPA requirements and a $1 per head levy. What is needed is a breakup of the supermarket duopoly in Australia and a proper Beef Producers Board to handle the bureaucrats.

The ABA fully supports the motion calling for an investigation into the impact of the supermarket price wars on farmers put forward by the Greens in the Senate last week.

Mr Bellinger was amazed that the Nationals refused to support the bill.

He suggested that any problems the Nationals have with the wording of the bill be sorted out immediately. The ABA is primed to be given the opportunity to submit evidence to the inquiry. He said that the ABA suspects the National Farmers Federation to remain silent on the issue given Woolworths has emerged as an events sponsor to the organisation.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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