David Littleproud attacks Coles over milk. Too little, too late

Coles sign on side of store

MP David Littleproud attacked grocery giant, Coles for not passing extra A$0.10 from their milk on to farmers. This has triggered an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry.

Apparently, Coles have finally buckled, donating an extra A$5million to farmers.

Why has anyone only spoken up now?

Coles and the other grocer mammoth, Woolworths were in a longstanding war over grocery prices.

Woolworths entrance
Woolworths has been part of the ‘price wars’ since 2011, resulting in them quashing competitors.

This started in 2011. Both supermarkets offered low prices and started a home brand that has covered a wide range of items.

The “down down” prices have proven to be sinister.  A number of smaller, independent grocers couldn’t compete went out of business.

Coles and Woolworths were accused of quashing small businesses in rural and regional areas.

To add insult to injury, last month, the price wars ended. Prices rose again. Everyone has lost out instead of Coles and Woolworths.

 

Yet, to my knowledge only recently has any MP publicly spoken out against Coles and/ or Woolworths. What took them so long? Is it just save face and make itlook like they’re doing something for the farmers after the disastrous Murray Basin plan?

Aldi: a saviour?

However, it’s not all bad news. Coles and Woolworths do have a competitor – German supermarket, Aldi.

They first opened stores in Australia in 2001.

Since then, Aldi has had its hits and misses. Many people like their prices, not just for groceries, but also household appliances like Dyson vacuum cleaners, which are cheaper than in other stores.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t bring back any small businesses in rural towns that have collapsed.

 

 

I think the Federal Government has really shot themselves in the foot over the grocer wars. Put simply, Coles and Woolworths are too big. Criticising them now is pointless.

 

Coles and Woolworths have proven to have no regard for the ‘little guy’. They’ve been able to bully their way to dominating a major part of the retail sector.

If they had no regard for the independent businesses, then why would they care for farmers? Unless it tarnishes their image (and threatens their bottom line).

U.timately, the CEOs of Coles and Woolworths only about one thing, and that”s profit.

 

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