CITRUS Australia has welcomed the appointment by Coles supermarkets of an independent arbiter, saying it promises to benefit Sunrayasia produce suppliers.
SWEET DEAL: Jeff Kennett (INSET) has been appointed by Coles to mediate between the supermarket chain and citrus growers and ensure the relationship continues to prosper.
Jeff Kennett will oversee a new charter with suppliers, and to help resolve commercial disputes.
Citrus Australia chair Tania Chapman said Australia citrus growers had experienced some problems with the supermarket duopoly of Coles and Woolworths, particularly during the industry downturn several years ago when the collapse of the industry’s premium North American market had left the domestic market glutted with citrus.
She said even though supermarkets had jumped in and paid low prices for the glut, they had done growers a service by buying fruit for which there was no other market.
Ms Chapman said despite some problems, most citrus growers were happy with their relationship with the big supermarkets.
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