Australia Post ban will add more pressure to COVID-19 impact on food industry
The decision by Australian Post to stop delivering perishable food items from 30 June will add significant pressure to food and beverage producers already affected by COVID-19, and negatively impact a sector that is a key contributor to the Australian economy, says Food South Australia CEO Catherine Sayer.
“It is incredibly frustrating to be faced with the announcement of this decision without any opportunity for industry consultation or the chance to work together to find workable solutions,” said Ms Sayer.
Ms Sayer said Food South Australia is well aware that consistency and reliability of delivery has become an increasingly significant issue for producers of perishable products sending goods through Australia Post.
“The producers are doing their best to ensure products are well-packed but the inconsistency of delivery has become a serious issue,” she said.
“We all know there’s a problem here, but just announcing cessation of the service with barely two months warning isn’t addressing that problem, it is just penalising an industry that is critically important to the Australian economy because no-one has found a better way to manage it yet.”
Ms Sayer said Food South Australia would welcome the opportunity to work with Australia Post to find a solution.
“The upturn in online ordering since the pandemic hit has been enormous, and it has helped a lot of small and medium sized businesses survive. It’s now an established habit for many consumers, and they often deliberately seek out their favourite brands to purchase online, knowing they are directly supporting jobs and livelihoods. That support has been absolutely essential over the last year, especially for regional businesses and communities.”
“Ecommerce is a vital sales channel for all sorts of products and increasingly important for the Australian food and beverage industry as well as an income stream for Australia Post. If we are offered an opportunity to work together to develop a solution, businesses, Australia Post and the Australian economy can all benefit,” Ms Sayer said.
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