FOOD PRODUCERS CONCERNED BY AUSTRALIA POST’S MOVE TO STOP DELIVERING PERISHABLES

Food producers in Australia have expressed concern at Australia Post’s decision to stop delivering perishable items.

Farmers whose businesses are heavily dependent on the state-owned postal service have said they may struggle if they have to find alternative ways to deliver produce.

Australia Post said it would cease carrying perishable items from June 30 because of the complexity of regulations covering issues such as licensing, and the type and registration of vehicles, that vary between states.

“We understand the impact of this decision on many producers, and we are currently working with our customers and industry regulators to determine a path forward,” the company said in a statement reported by local media.

“This includes meeting with food safety regulators and health authorities to discuss the regulations imposed on Australia Post.”

Reports indicate that products including meat, cheese, eggs, seafood and frozen meals will be affected, and concern has been sparked among producers of everything from salmon to truffles.

“We’d been using express post and have been very happy and confident in telling our customers that if they purchase fresh truffles, Australia Post will get it to them within a day or two,” Kristen Simpson, a truffle producer in the state of Victoria who sends more than two-thirds of her goods through Australia Post, told local broadcaster ABC.

“I can only imagine that using a courier or other means of transport will be extremely expensive and not as reliable and not as efficient.”

Producers in the island state of Tasmania are particularly concerned because of a lack of alternatives to Australia Post, and some said they may have to cease online sales.

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