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February 28, 2011 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Greens Look to Cut Cheese (Prices)

The Green Party have appealed to the Government for a thorough inquiry into rising dairy prices. This follows Consumer New Zealand’s call for a full investigation from the Commerce Commission into the same problem.

Rising dairy prices are a perennial issue for students around New Zealand, with the cost of staples like milk being almost unaffordable.

The plea for inquiry comes hot on the heels of Fonterra’s decision to freeze milk prices in 2011. While Green thinks this is a positive step towards solving the problem, they believe it is a temporary solution, with more action required in the long-term.

“There isn’t any real scrutiny of retail prices and how they are set in New Zealand,” Green food spokesperson Sue Kedgley said.

“We need much greater transparency into the pricing practices of the grocery retail sector, especially in areas like dairy where there is very little real competition.

“The Government must either launch a Commerce Commission inquiry immediately or agree to a Select Committee inquiry into dairy prices,”

The Greens supplemented their statement by examining the issue from their strong environmental standpoint.

Co-Leader Russel Norman stated that rising dairy prices would lead to widespread conversion of natural resources into the dairy industry, which would cause further damage to our already heavily-polluted waterways.

Student Martin Raudnic doesn’t believe that dairy prices are as big an issue as some would have us believe.

“People in NZ should stop complaining about the price of dairy products. They aren’t essential for us to survive—but given the general lack of poverty in NZ compared to developing countries, most people can at least afford dairy products if they are careful with their money.”

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