The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is backing calls to support contract poultry farmers who are under extreme price pressures from processors and the supermarkets.
VFF President David Jochinke said that although chicken was the most popular protein choice for Australian consumers, the popularity on dinner tables was not benefiting contract growers.
“We know Australian’s love a cooked chook but the growers simply aren’t seeing any benefit at all from the increase in demand.”
“In the last decade the price of lamb, beef and pork has steadily risen but the retail price of chicken has been flat,” Mr Jochinke said.
According to ABARES, between 2008 and 2017 the retail price of chicken decreased from 551 c/kg to 534 c/kg, while beef, lamb and pork all rose.
“The problem is twofold. On the retail front supermarkets are keeping chicken prices low, while the closure of a number of Victorian processors has limited competition and choice for growers. The situation really is dire for a large number of growers.”
The ACCC recently indicated they would look into complaints of an unfair trading environment in the chicken meat industry but the VFF believes this does not go far enough. The VFF is backing the call for an ACCC inquiry into the poultry meat industry.
“Let’s not beat around the bush on this. We know there are serious competition issues in the chicken meat industry and it’s time for the Treasurer to bring in the ACCC to investigate,” said Mr Jochinke.