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Australia Post will continue to carry perishable goods
Food producers across Australia can breathe a sigh of relief following the resolution of an issue with their postal service.
Earlier this year, Australia Post announced that, due to complex State and Territory regulatory requirements, it intended to discontinue the carriage of perishable goods from 30 June 2021.
Food producers across Australia—cheesemakers in Tasmania, cured meat producers in South Australia, and butter producers in Brisbane—immediately raised their concerns. With Australia Post widely used to distribute these distinctive, high quality boutique food products to customers around Australia, the decision would have had significant implications for these businesses.
The Morrison Government heard their concerns, and acted.
Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities, and the Arts, The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, asked the CEO of Australia Post to work with affected customers and to support businesses to find alternative arrangements, and to be kept informed of how this work progresses.
The Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Mr Bruce Billson worked closely with Australia Post, producers and State regulators, using his extensive knowledge of small business and of regulatory requirements to assist Australia Post to reach this sensible outcome.
The food safety issues have been carefully identified and worked through methodically. Following that work, Australia Post has now committed that it will continue to deliver perishable goods.
“We welcome Australia Post’s decision to continue providing this vital service. This allows perishable food producers—many of whom are small businesses—to connect directly to their customers, allowing Australians, for example, to order delicious Tasmanian cheese straight to their door,” Minister Fletcher said.
Mr Billson said, “I’m delighted Australia Post will continue perishable goods delivery, which is a critical service for small and family businesses across the country, particularly in rural and regional areas. This announcement will bring sighs of relief and renewed enthusiasm for producers who can continue to build their businesses with a reliable fulfilment partner and delight even more customers into the future.”
“It is pleasing that Australia Post has taken a fresh look and removed any uncertainty about it continuing its partnership with primary and food producers, which has been hugely beneficial to both sides. No one has a stronger interest in ensuring the quality of produce on delivery than the producers. We know they put a great deal of knowledge, effort, and innovative know-how into packaging to ensure their produce arrives via delivery services in tip-top condition.”