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‘NZ supermarket duopoly is locking people out of nutrition'

New Zealand health advocates say they want their government to urgently break up the Countdown and Foodstuffs duopoly. They claim people’s health is being put at risk by high fruit and vegetable prices. In March, the cost of fruits and vegetables increased by nearly 20 per cent, compared to the same time the year before. Food prices increased by 7.6 per cent – the highest rise in a decade.

“We’re in a tailspin of higher and higher prices that benefit supermarket profit margins while locking people out of nutrition,” Health Coalition Aotearoa food policy expert group co-chairperson Dr Lisa Te Morenga said.

The rising cost of fruits and vegetables is making access to healthy food harder for many families, which will have long-lasting consequences, health experts say. The Commerce Commission failed to recommend the most effective and needed action – to break up the duopoly – acknowledged to be behind the country’s high food prices, Health Promotion Agency spokesperson and University of Auckland public health researcher Dr Leanne Young said.


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