PMA says Katter’s Farm Gate to Plate Bill is “Unworkable”

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 28th September 2011

The ‘Farm Gate to Plate’ Bill proposed by Federal Independents Bob Katter MHR and Senator Nick Xenophon has been slammed by the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) which says that the costs of compliance would defeat its purpose. 


The Bill (formally referred to as the Constitutional Corporations (Farm Gate to Plate) Bill 2011), as previously reported by Australian Food News, would require grocery retailers to display the farm gate price of fresh fruit and vegetables next to the retail price and on its website to “enable consumers to understand the pricing practices of grocery retailers”.


The Bill provides for penalties to be imposed on retailers who breach its provisions.


But Michael Worthington, spokesperson for the Produce Marketing Association, says that the Bill is costly and unworkable.


“It’s very, very difficult for supermarkets who buy from wholesalers, sometimes from packers or processors, and there’s not a clear line to what those organizations paid growers,” Mr Worthington said today.


Senator Xenophon has dismissed the criticism, saying there should be a national debate about what farmers are paid for their produce. He says growers are feeling squeezed by big retailers and the Bill would be part of a package of reforms to bring about more transparency to the retail supply chain. 


A Senate Inquiry to investigate and review the Farm Gate to Plate Bill is open for submissions until the end of October and is due to report by 24 November 2011.