Australian retailers defend pricing

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Australia, News

The Senate Inquiry investigating supermarket pricing and practices were told by retailers that the key drivers of higher shelf prices are cost price increases sought by suppliers and farmers.

Both retailers submitted they had received large numbers of requests from suppliers and farmers to increase costs in FY22 and FY23.

Woolworths said prices are likely to continue falling as input cost inflation and supply issues ease, pointing to falls in red meat prices. Coles said it is investing in “state-of-the-art automation to create lower cost bases.”

Meanwhile, a report analysing price “gouging and price practices by big businesses” commissioned by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) found that rising prices were caused by “a combination of inflation, greed, corporate gouging and profit pushing by companies with a lot of market power”. The report explored a variety of sectors, including electricity, banks, food and groceries, childcare and shipping services.

The report was headed by the former chair of ACCC professor Allan Fels who said the Government needed to investigate and expose causes of high prices and where possible, remedy the problems.