21 April 2021

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson has called on Australia Post to defer its plans to stop delivering perishable goods, saying this would be a crushing blow to small business producers.

Mr Billson says Australia Post’s decision to cease delivery of various perishable goods from June 30 is a self-imposed deadline that could be delayed to work through its concerns, to support small business food producers.

“Given Australia Post has 80% share of the total delivery market, this abrupt decision could prove to be devastating to those small business food producers who rely on this essential postage service,” Mr Billson says.

“So many small businesses moved to selling their products online as a result of the COVID crisis. They need some additional time to consider what options they have to fulfil their orders.

“We strongly encourage Australia Post to consider the impact this will have on their small business customers and to work with regulators to find a way to continue this essential service.  

“Australia Post says the carriage of perishable food requirements differ state-by-state however there has been a national Food Regulation Agreement in place since 2000.

“My office has reached out to Australia Post and the state small business commissioners, who have all expressed their willingness facilitate discussions with industry regulators, to help resolve any issues Australia Post is experiencing across the delivery network.

“It is crucial to support small businesses as they work to recover from an incredibly challenging 12 months.

“Part of that is ensuring essential services such as postage of goods are both readily available and affordable to these affected small businesses.”