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Heywire participant raises farmgate to supermarket price gap

A young woman from rural Victoria has been praised by Nationals Deputy Senate Leader, Fiona Nash, for suggesting supermarkets should display the price they pay Australian farmers for the food they sell.

ABC Heywire winner, Ashley Hammond made the suggestions when she met the Department of Agriculture’s top bureaucrat in Canberra earlier this month.

Senator Nash said she wasn’t sure if the Ms Hammond’s idea could be put into practice, but it was a very important issue the public needed to be aware of.

“Ashley’s idea cuts through: it is important for consumers, especially those in the cities, to understand that very little of the money they spend on groceries actually goes to farmers,” Senator Nash said.

“Of course there are many costs between the farmgate and the supermarket shelf, including freight, labor, packaging and refrigeration, but the mark ups can still be quite extraordinary.”

Senator Nash runs a farm in the Central West of NSW with her husband, so she has firsthand knowledge of the issue.

“Few people know that although a rack of lamb for example can cost $26 a kilo at the supermarket, the farmgate price is significantly lower. For example we recently averaged $3.60 for lambs,” Senator Nash said.

“The big challenge for farmers in the future is profitability – if farmers can’t be profitable the industry is not sustainable. Farmers are often raising with me the difficulties they face simply because of the cost of doing business, across a whole range of areas.” Senator Nash said.

“Congratulations to Ashley Hammond for raising the issue of farmgate to supermarket shelf pricing. We need to do more to bridge the city-country divide when it comes to understanding the farming sector and regional communities,” Senator Nash concluded.
Source: Murray Lees, Senator Fiona Nash media release http://www.fionanash.com.au/Media/MediaReleases/tabid/84/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/1029/Heywire-participant-raises-farmgate-to-supermarket-price-gap.aspx