Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is calling on Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Agriculture Minister Murray Watt to investigate supermarket meat sale prices.
Mr Littleproud said Treasurer Chalmers and Minister Watt must urgently direct the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to hold a price inquiry.
“According to Meat and Livestock Australia, some sheep and lamb categories have fallen by up to 70 per cent in the saleyards in the last 12 months,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Lamb prices have drastically reduced and cattle prices have fallen by about 60 per cent. Yet families at the supermarkets have barely noticed a difference in prices.”
While a farmer’s payment for cattle (eastern young cattle indicator) has fallen from $10.21 per kilo to just $3.65 per kilo over the past 12 months, at the supermarket it still costs around $36 per kilo for grass-fed rump steak, $25 per kilo for beef rump roast and $19 for a kilo of humble grass-fed beef mince.
A farmer’s payment for lamb (national trade price) has fallen from $8.39 per kilo to $4.82 per kilo, yet families at the supermarket are paying $27 for a kilo of grass-fed graze lamb boneless shoulder roast, $18 for one kilo of lamb loin chops and $8 per kilo of lamb leg roast.
Mr Littleproud said a competition taskforce recently established by Labor, to conduct a review of competition policy settings over a two-year period, failed to provide the urgent response that families and farmers required.
“This is impacting family budgets right now. It needs an urgent response because families and farmers can’t afford to wait potentially two years for answers.”
He said unlike a review, the ACCC would also have greater power to act.
“Many families are struggling to afford their grocery bill each week so it’s important the government acts swiftly to ensure there’s transparency in meat prices.”