500 signatures reached
To: PM Jacinda Ardern and Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Minister Dr. David Clark
End the Supermarket Crisis
We call on the Government to break-up the supermarket duopoly of the 2 major supermarket chains Woolworths and Foodstuffs, and lower food prices by:
1.Putting in place legislation that curbs the measures that the two main players have taken to maintain their dominant position, including prohibiting land covenants and shopping-centre exclusivity clauses which stop other supermarkets from being able to open nearby.
2.Splitting up the retail and wholesale companies of both Woolworths and Foodstuffs.
3.Protecting suppliers to the supermarkets from being exploited.
Why is this important?
Everyone needs to eat and we all deserve to be able to afford healthy, nutritious food. But right now more and more families are having to go without because of the high price of food. Even basic items like vegetables, milk and bread are becoming expensive.
There is a food cost crisis. The crisis is a result of successive governments allowing two supermarket chains, Woolworths and Foodstuffs, to dominate our food supply.
The profits of these 2 big food chains are extraordinary. The Commerce Commission report showed that the profits of the duopolies are somewhere between 12.7 and 13.1%. (1). By international standards a normal rate of return should be 5.5%. (2). The Commerce Commission estimated that Foodstuffs and Woolworths combined are making about $430 million a year in excess profits. (3)
It's not just customers they’re short changing either, the people growing and supplying food to the supermarkets are left with little option to negotiate fairer prices for their produce. One supplier reported that “We have two choices 1) sell to them under their terms 2) don’t sell to them at all”.(4)
We all want to be able to trust our supermarkets to deliver us decent food at a decent price. But right now, it is clear that these two supermarket giants cannot to be trusted with the reins to our food supply.
Our government needs to step in and create legislation to ensure our food system is fair and that families can keep food on the table. We need the Government to take urgent and definitive action to break up the supermarket duopoly.
1,2,3,4: Market study into the grocery sector, Commerce Commission, March 2022: https://comcom.govt.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0024/278403/Market-Study-into-the-retail-grocery-sector-Final-report-8-March-2022.pdf