Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson has cautiously welcomed the Australian Food and Groceries Council agreement with the two supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths, but warned it is unlikely to be enough to improve competition in the sector.

“A voluntary code is a good first step but given the marked concentration of power and lack of competition in the Australian supermarket sector voluntary measures are unlikely to be enough to address misuses of market power by the two supermarket giants.

“As the market share of Coles and Woolworths has grown, they have squeezed the margins of some suppliers and put pressure on many farmers and local manufacturers. Small local shops are struggling to compete and consumers’ favourite brands have disappeared from the shelves.

“To truly tackle this problem we need mandatory measures, including strengthening competition laws to ensure companies are unable to abuse their market power.

The Greens put forward a plan for fairer competition for small business and farmers and a range of measures to tackle the supermarket duopoly before the 2013 election and the full policy initiative can be found here:
Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson