Supermarkets play a vital role in the Australian community, and will continue to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Coles Group on behalf of itself and all the other major supermarkets has put in an authorisation with the ACCC to engage in a number of coordinated activities with a view to ensuring the fair and equitable supply and distribution of retail products to Australian consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The authorisation enables the participating supermarkets to discuss, enter into or give effect to any arrangement between them (including with manufacturers, suppliers, and transport and logistics providers), or engage in any conduct, which has the purpose of alleviating the issues experienced in the supply chain during the outbreak. Interim measures were in place to put to make these agreements from March. These issues are mostly related to the hoarding of certain products by consumers that has put strain on the supply chain.
The ACCC would like members to share their experience or insights on these interim measures as a means to assess the consequences of putting in place a continuing agreement for 6 months.
ACCC wants comments by Friday 1 May 2020. Specifically the ACCC would like to know how have these changes impacted on your arrangements with the supermarkets and any benefits or detriments? They would also like input on operating conditions for the future.