Support local growers to provide an abundance of food

Supporting farmers markets, local suppliers, and community food initiatives should lead the way when it comes to guaranteeing fairer prices and access to fresh food for everyone.

“Everyone should have access to an abundance of nourishing food. However, thousands of families struggle to put food on the table as major supermarket corporations rake in persistently high profits,” says Ricardo Menéndez March, spokesperson for commerce and consumer affairs.

“The Government needs to do much more than what the Commerce Commission set out today.

“Right now we have an inequality crisis which people are feeling every time they visit the supermarket, pay the rent or power bill, or hop on a bus or train to get around.

“In a country that produces enough food to feed about 40 million people, everyone should have access to plentiful kai to feed themselves and their families fresh, quality food.

“Once again, we can see clearly that the current structure of our grocery sector is not delivering for everyday people.

“The Commerce Commission's recommendations do not go far enough to address this. It is good to see recommendations for a mandatory code of conduct for grocery supply relationships, and consideration of collective bargaining. But regulatory change focused solely on supermarkets, while necessary, will not do enough to help people put fresh, affordable food on the table.

“The Government must take the Commerce Commission’s report as a baseline, not the full extent of the change that is urgently needed. 

“We need a national food strategy that supports local growers, locals and Papakāinga to provide kai to their own communities.

“The Government must also support regenerative and organic agriculture, and community-based food initiatives such as food co-operatives, community gardens, public fruit orchards, heritage seed banks and farmers' markets.

“A publicly owned competitor, that seeks to put the wellbeing of the communities and the environment before profits, should also be considered further.”