The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) Bruce Billson has called on Australia Post to continue to support the nation’s small business food producers as the postal giant announced plans to cease delivery of perishable goods.
The ombudsman says the move by AusPost is a crushing blow to Australia’s small business food producers who are already suffering due to the impact of the pandemic.
Auspost to cease delivering perishables
Australia Post has announced that as of June 30 it will no longer deliver perishable products. The ombudsman is asking Australia Post to defer this plan while the community works through its concerns regarding the impact.
“Given Australia Post has 80 per cent share of the total delivery market, this abrupt decision could prove to be devastating to those small business food producers who rely on this essential postage service,” Billson said.
“So many small businesses moved to selling their products online as a result of the COVID crisis. They need some additional time to consider what options they have to fulfil their orders.”
Bilson said he would encourage Australia Post to consider the impact withdrawal of the service will have on small businesses and to work with the food regulatory bodies to find a solution.
“Australia Post says the carriage of perishable food requirements differ state-by-state however there has been a national Food Regulation Agreement in place since 2000.
“My office has reached out to Australia Post and the state small business commissioners, who have all expressed their willingness facilitate discussions with industry regulators, to help resolve any issues Australia Post is experiencing across the delivery network.
“It is crucial to support small businesses as they work to recover from an incredibly challenging 12 months.
“Part of that is ensuring essential services such as postage of goods are both readily available and affordable to these affected small businesses,” Billson concluded.
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