Waatea News Column: Supermarket Duopoly whitewash a missed opportunity for Co-governance

The announcement on how the Labour Government intend to deal with the Supermarket Duopoly is a terrible missed opportunity for kiwis desperately trying to make ends meet.

It’s also a missed opportunity for co-governance.

Let’s not allow the perfect to kill the good, what has been proposed will make long term change possible. Tweeking rules so that independent stores can change to different brands without legal punishment and allowing everyone to benefit from wholesale prices will also long term structurally put pressure on bringing down food prices, but the problem is the issue of food security is far larger in New Zealand than the proposed solutions can solve.

The proposal by Tex Edwards to set up an Iwi backed 3rd player with the State carving out a 30% stake in the industry would have been a perfect example of co-governance working in practise.

A 3rd player given backing by the state to take 30% of the market with a focus on cheap kai, better prices for producers and better wages for workers is the silver bullet Labour are too frightened to use.

The naked reality is that food inflation is about to be exacerbated by Chinese supply chain shut downs and the war in Ukraine. We stand to face 15% food inflation prices in December of this year and in the season of Christmas, many, many, many economically desperate Kiwi families won’t be cheering Labour’s incrementalism when dealing with the vested interests of the Supermarket Duopoly.

First published on Waatea News.

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