Action on supermarkets welcome, must ensure right to food

The right to food must be the core driver of Government action to reign in unfair behaviour by supermarkets, the Green Party says.

“Food is a basic human right and for too long the supermarket duopoly has made huge profits at people's expense, while also not giving food growers and makers a fair deal,” said Green Party commerce and consumer affairs spokesperson Ricardo Menéndez March.

“The Green Party welcomes the creation of a supermarket industry regulator ‘watchdog’ and mandatory code of conduct, which we have been proposing for more than a decade.

“Opening up supermarkets’ wholesale arms to competitors, and potential separation of their wholesale and retail arms, could be a game changer. We’ve seen it drive better competition in sectors like telecommunications and it has real potential to bring food prices down for people in Aotearoa.

“We also welcome the Government’s signal that it may require the divestment of some stores to promote competition.

“Fixing supermarkets isn’t the only solution to providing healthy, affordable kai in our communities. Farmers markets, community markets, and urban food gardens can shorten the supply chain, reducing transport costs and emissions, and deserve more support from Government and local councils.

“Aotearoa has excellent conditions for growing our own food. Supporting local food security helps communities break free from the supermarket giants and their volatile global supply chains.”