ASBFEO and Australia Post come together to support food producers

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson has said that his office is looking forward to working closer with Australia Post for the benefit of small-business food producers.

The Ombudsman was speaking after Australia Post announced that it will no longer pursue plans slated last week to discontinue the shipping of perishable goods across the country after 30 June.

“Small business food producers, especially those in regional areas, are breathing a huge sigh of relief today that they can continue doing what they do best – growing their business – with confidence that their goods will be delivered by Australia Post,” Billson said. “Australia Post is doing the right thing for its small-business customers by reversing this decision.”

The Ombudsman also welcomed the invitation to co-chair an industry working forum, which will work collaboratively to resolve any issues Australia Post is experiencing across its delivery network, to support small-business food producers.

“I look forward to working closely with Australia Post and all relevant stakeholders to ensure small businesses can continue to count on these essential delivery services,” Billson said.

“Australia Post has positioned itself as the delivery partner to small businesses and family enterprises, particularly to those businesses that moved to selling their products online as a result of the COVID crisis. This partnership has benefited both sides of the relationship and consumers.

“Now is the time to be working together to identify what the problems are and to find solutions to make a pathway forward,” Billson added. “Let’s roll up our sleeves so that we can achieve a much better outcome for eCommerce-powered small businesses who rely on Australia Post to fulfil their orders.”

The Ombudsman is set to meet with Australia Post next week and then again with the broader industry group in May. Billson will also coordinate matters closely with his state-based Small Business Commissioner colleagues to gain additional perspectives and regulatory insights in coming up with a more long-term solution. Regular sessions will also be held with key regulatory bodies, government agencies and eCommerce representatives as part of these efforts.