Australia Post has backflipped on the perishables ban it announced back in April, much to the relief of food businesses and producers reliant on the service.
In a statement at the time, taxpayer-owned Australia Post revealed it will no longer deliver perishable products such as dairy (including cheese and truffles), native bush ingredients and smallgoods from June 30.
Business owners called on Australia Post to clarify the ban, with uncertainty as to what exactly would no longer be carried.
Australia Post announced it will continue to ship perishable goods across the country and work collaboratively to find solutions to support small business food producers with the support of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson.
An industry working forum, to be co-chaired by Mr Billson, has been formed to resolve cross-state regulatory issues as part of Australia Post’s commitment to support producers shipping perishable goods across the country.
The forum will also have representatives from industry bodies, the small business sector and producers to find possible solutions to the complex regulatory requirements for moving these goods through the delivery network.
Rodney Boys, Acting Group CEO & MD Australia Post, said this is an important and complex landscape that is best approached by working closely with customers, industry bodies and regulators.
“We recognise 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,” Mr Boys said.
“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.
“I am so pleased Bruce Billson has agreed to co-chair this forum with Australia Post to develop a long-term, sustainable solution to support this growing eCommerce industry.”
Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson said he’s looking forward to working with Australia Post to ensure this essential service is available to small business food producers.
“We welcome this opportunity to work collaboratively with Australia Post to ensure small business food producers can continue to count on their delivery services,” Mr Billson said.