Commodity price labelling idea put to government officials

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 12th February 2013

Victorian agricultural science student Ashlee Hammond is set to shake up the Australian food industry, suggesting to government officials that supermarket labels need to disclose the price paid for produce at the farm gate.

Ms Hammond is one of the ABC’s latest Heywire program winners, claiming one of the top spots with her quest to educate consumers on commodity prices, with legislation similar to the display of nutritional information in Australia.

The Heywire program is an annual competition for young people to express their stories and ideas on issues in Australia. Last week, Heywire winners including Ms Hammond met with government officials in a “speed-date” type set up where she raised the issue of price disparity between farmers’ income and what consumers pay at the counter.

Ms Hammond’s idea was put to newly appointed secretary for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Andrew Metcalfe, who said that hearing what young people like Ms Hammond think “helps him with his job.”

“It’s an interesting idea, but I’m not sure if it would work – there are lots of issues with it but I’m sure we’ll hear more,” Mr Metcalfe told Ashlee Hammond regarding her price labelling idea.

Ms Hammond is from a farming background in Tragowel, Victoria, and is part of the Heywire group developing a policy for education on regional issues.

Ms Hammond suggests that supermarkets disclose the price paid for produce at the farm gate.