Borsak Warns Coles Supermarket - "Pay our farmers or risk losing them"
The Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party leader, Robert Borsak, today warned Coles supermarket group that their request for farmers to "cut costs" rather than increase prices would propel NSW into a food security crisis.
"Coles has a responsibility to match production costs," said Mr Borsak.
"Telling farmers to "cut costs" is beyond condescending and risks farmers dropping out of the market altogether, which puts our food security at risk.
"Severe weather conditions, Covid-19 and the Russian and Ukraine war are pushing up production costs for farmers and wiping out crops.
"Farmers are fighting to keep up with the cost of production, but with the four main inputs- fertiliser, chemicals and diesel at record high levels and a shortage in labour, it is becoming a fight they cannot win.
"Being told to tighten their belts is the last thing farmers need to hear.
"When costs for Australian fertiliser imports rose by 128% from $380/tonne to $867/tonne, farmers have no choice but to pass that cost on.
"Coles should be more supportive of their suppliers, understanding in these times that as an oligopoly player, they have excessive market power.
"Coles made $1.9 billion before interest and tax in the 2022 fiscal year. They have no excuse but to pay farmers what their products are worth or risk losing them," said Mr Borsak.