ZB

Kerre Woodham: A Grocery Commissioner isn't going to put cash in your pocket

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Jul 2022, 12:44pm
Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

Kerre Woodham: A Grocery Commissioner isn't going to put cash in your pocket

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 Jul 2022, 12:44pm

Another job for an old mate has been announced by the Government.

If as a child, you grew up and you were asked what do you want to be when you grow up and you said I want to be a Grocery Commissioner, the way is now clear for you to do so!

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark announced that a grocery commissioner is to be appointed during an update on progress being made to bring supermarkets in to line after recommendations were made by the Commerce Commission back in May. 

In David Clark's mind, the grocery commissioner will be a kind of referee, keeping the supermarket duopoly honest and blowing the whistle where it suspects there is a problem. And they're also going to ensure the Government reforms for the sector are implemented and that Kiwis are getting a fair deal at the checkout.

All very well and good.

Vegetables New Zealand chair John Murphy spoke to Early Edition this morning and he told Kate Hawkesby he believes change needs to come, but isn't sure a grocery commissioner is the panacea for his industry.

Introducing the removal of covenants, that makes sense, the wholesale buying regime allowing other players onto the market, sure, but if any consumer thinks the appointment of a Grocery Commissioner is going to make a blind bit of difference to the price of many of the goods on the supermarket shelves, they are dreaming.

Because if you listen to John, fruit and veggie growers have pressure on them with a shortage of labour, so they've got crops rotting on the ground, the rising price of fuel and fertiliser the rising cost of transport, they've got that perennial foe, the weather, which can have a huge impact.

How the hell is the grocery commissioner going to control hail? They're not. 

A Grocery Commissioner, while it sounds all very well and good, is going to do very little to put more cash in your pocket.