Major rule change for Australia Post
Food producers across the country have been dealt a crippling blow after taxpayer-owned Australia Post revealed it would no longer deliver perishables from July.
Australia Post has contacted some producers - including makers of butter, cheese, truffles, smallgoods and native bush ingredients - to inform them the company will no longer deliver their products from June 30.
In a statement provided to NCA NewsWire, Australia Post blamed "complex requirements" that differed between states for the decision.
"Due to the complex food safety and regulatory requirements differing across states and territories, Australia Post will discontinue the carriage of certain foods destined for consumption across the delivery network from 30 June," a spokesperson said.
"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.
"This includes meeting with food safety regulators and health authorities to discuss the regulations imposed on Australia Post.
"The carriage of perishable food requirements differ by state and include complex requirements on vehicle type, site and vehicle registration, licence maintenance, staff training and audit requirements."
The move is set to have a devastating impact on farmers and producers in rural areas where alternative couriers are either expensive or not available.
It will also hit popular Australian online retailers such as Cheese Therapy - a Queensland-based small business that shot to prominence last year by offering a Therapy Box of products from all Australian cheesemakers hit by bushfires and COVID-19.
Sydney-based boutique butter producer Pepe Saya, a Sutherland Shire business that supplies many restaurants in the Harbour City, said it was a troubling hurdle.
"This is going to ruin people," Pepe Saya's Pierre Issa said.
"We lost a lot of our normal business during the outbreak of the pandemic and had to go big-time into home delivery."
Originally published as Major rule change for Australia Post