NFF calls for growers to speak on supermarket behaviour

The National Farmers Federation is calling on fresh produce growers and wholesalers supplying the supermarkets to share their stories. Picture: PIXABAY

The Senate Select Committee on Supermarket Prices has announced an initial set of dates to hear stories about bad behaviour by supermarkets.

National Farmers Federation Horticulture Council chair Jolyon Burnett said it was critically important as many fresh produce growers and wholesalers as possible supplying the supermarkets, either directly or indirectly, shared their stories.

“Individual anecdotes are powerful without doubt,” he said.

“Even better is a number of people describing the same practice or behaviour which will allow this inquiry to establish a pattern and paint a more complete picture.

“It is only with a clear picture that we’ll get from this inquiry the right sort of recommendations that will make a difference to the lives and profitability of our industry for years to come.”

In addition to hearings, the Committee where requested will also make arrangements for individual growers to give evidence confidentially from their home or office by secure video link straight into Parliament House.

“We are aware the main reason stopping growers coming forward is the real fear of being identified and suffering commercial retribution that could ruin their business and livelihoods,” said Mr Burnett.

“So, we’ve received assurances from the Committee that records of confidential conversations will only ever be shared with members of the Committee at their request, for a limited period of time and on paper that’ll subsequently be destroyed.”

Growers and suppliers interested in better understanding how to appear physically at hearings or arrange confidential virtual conversations with the Committee are encouraged to speak with Richard Shannon, Executive Officer to the NFF Horticulture Council on 0448 860 630.