Australia Post has had to back down on threats to end the shipping of foods through the post. The service threatened to ban the sending of ‘perishable goods’ across the country from June 30. This decision in turn threatened the livelihoods of many growers and smaller food manufacturers who have been using the mail to reach online customers during the pandemic.
Now, Australia Post has stated it will set up an industry working group chaired by Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson ‘to find solutions’. The decision is a win for the many food producers who complained about the original decision with thousands of people signing online petitions and winning the attention of farm lobby groups.
Australia Post acting group CEO Rodney Boys said the subject was a ‘complex landscape’ best approached by working closely with customers, industry bodies and regulators: "We recognize the original date for ceasing perishable transport through our network would cause significant disruption to small businesses, many who have experienced significant growth in eCommerce sales during COVID-19. Through this new forum, we will better understand what our customer capabilities and needs are and work hand-in-hand with regulators to determine, where changes may be required.”
According to northqueenslandregister.com.au, Australia Post will continue to ship perishable goods as this forum continues to convene, with the first meeting between Australia Post and the Ombudsman next week. The broader industry group will then meet in May, with a view to hold regular sessions with key regulatory bodies, government agencies and eCommerce experts.