Australian supermarkets have been given the green light to continue to collaborate on the supply of food and groceries to consumers during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The consumer watchdog, the ACCC, has approved Woolworths, Aldi, Coles, Metcash and other grocery companies to coordinate with each other as they work with manufacturers, suppliers, transport and logistics providers. It granted an extended authorisation until March 31 next year.
“We recognise the impacts that the pandemic continues to have across the economy, including within the food and grocery sector. Allowing this authorisation to continue will likely result in public benefits by giving supermarket operators the opportunity to maximise consumer access to retail groceries, reduce community concerns and stockpiling behaviour, and reduce strain on retail supply chains,” said ACCC commissioner Stephen Ridgeway.
He said the authorisation has allowed the grocers to maintain a steady supply of essentials in Victoria, including its remote areas, during the stage 4 lockdown in the state.
The authorisation does not apply to product pricing.