27 April 2021

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson met with Australia Post today in a collaborative effort to resolve issues with delivery of perishable goods to support small business food producers.

Mr Billson described the first meeting with Australia Post as productive, saying he is looking forward to working closely with Australia Post and all relevant stakeholders to ensure small businesses can continue to count on essential delivery services of their products.

“This initial meeting with Australia Post gives me confidence that we can work together to identify what the problems are and to find solutions to make a pathway forward,” Mr Billson says.

“My office has made it clear to Australia Post that many small business food producers, especially those in regional areas, are reliant on the continuation of postage services to fulfil their orders.

“Australia Post has demonstrated a willingness to work through issues in its delivery network, including ongoing discussions with industry regulators. My state-based Small Business Commissioner colleagues are also well-placed to play a key role in this problem-solving process if it is a matter of complex and differing food regulation requirements across the states.

“It’s vital we all roll up our sleeves to achieve an outcome that provides e-commerce-enabled small businesses with the confidence that their goods will be delivered by Australia Post.

“Our next steps include identifying case studies, finalising plans for consultation and forming an industry working forum to meet in May. Ensuring regulatory bodies, government agencies and e-commerce representatives are at the table to work towards a resolution to this important issue is necessary.

“In the meantime, my office is encouraging small business food producers who rely on Australia Post’s delivery services, to get in contact with my office as we want to make sure they are a meaningful part of this conversation.

“Ultimately, this thorough consultation process is both about resolving the issues Australia Post identifies as well as ensuring essential services such as postage of goods are meeting the needs of small business food producers.”  

Small business food producers can email advocacy@asbfeo.gov.au