The Green Party is calling on the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, David Clark to break up the supermarket duopoly.
“There is an inequality crisis in New Zealand, and food prices are just another reason why we need to break the supermarket duopoly and ensure everyone has a liveable income,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, spokesperson for commerce and consumer affairs.
“We all want children to have access to healthy, nourishing kai. However, as the Commerce Commission recently showed, supermarkets are raking in $430 million a year in excess profits as thousands of families struggle to put food on the table.
“Even before the current inflation spike, more than one in four children living in some of the country’s worst-off families were going without fresh fruit and vegetables. Around one in five kids also said they were living in households where food runs out.
“And we know it’s getting worse. Stats NZ released data earlier this month that shows that the price of fruit and vegetables is a massive 17 percent higher than a year ago.
“Speaking in the House on Tuesday, Minister Clark said that he had not ruled out exploring further measures if the recommendations in the recent Commerce Commission report do not achieve the level of competition we need.
“The same day, Fairer Futures released data showing that even with the Government’s 1 April welfare increases, some of the country’s worst-off families need $300 a week more in support to make ends meet.
“There are two very clear opportunities to make it possible for every family to afford the food they need. Step one: immediately increase benefits to liveable levels. Step two: break up the supermarket duopoly.
“People need liveable incomes and a grocery sector that puts the wellbeing of the communities and the environment before profits.
“While National trumpets its failed trickle-down economics, the Greens will continue fighting for the Government to adopt the necessary solutions to enable all New Zealanders to thrive,” says Ricardo Menéndez March.