30 Oct 2013

Australian government to put big supermarkets on notice

10:57 am on 30 October 2013

The federal government will outline its concerns about the price war between supermarket giants Woolworths and Coles and its impact on the Australian food growing industry.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson will address the Australian Food and Grocery Council's industry leaders forum in Canberra on Wednesday, AAP reports.

"While intensified competition between the two major chains has reduced grocery retail prices, there are concerns that those reductions come at the expense of suppliers and impact on the longer-term durable benefit to consumers," he will tell the forum, according to a draft speech obtained by The Australian.

"We have to ask ourselves: will these price and market pressures impact on the viability of the food-and-grocery industry over the long term and will they stifle innovation and investment by suppliers? And will this result in higher grocery prices in the longer term?"