Submission: Inquiry into the Unit Pricing (Easy comparison of grocery prices) Bill 2008

Consumer Action welcomes opportunity to provide this submission to the Senate Economics Committee’s Inquiry into the Unit Pricing (Easy comparison of grocery prices) Bill 2008.

In summary, our recommendations are as following:

  1. A system of national, uniform, mandatory unit pricing of products sold in supermarkets should be introduced.
  2. Given inflationary pressures, there is a pressing need to implement a unit pricing system. Unit pricing should be implemented as soon as reasonably possible having regard to minimising implementation costs.
  3. Unit pricing can be implemented in a number of ways: as a statutory amendment to the National Measurement Act 1960 (Cth) or the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth), or through subordinate statutes such as Regulations or a Mandatory Code. So long as recommendations 1 and above are adhered to, Consumer Action does not have a strong preference for one means of implementation vis-à-vis another, and notes that different approaches each have advantages and disadvantages.
  4. To ensure consumers can easily read unit prices, precise standards of minimum size and format are required for shelf labels, advertising and other signage. Independent research should be undertaken to support these standards.
  5. The units of measure to indicate unit price should be 1 kilogram if sold by weight and 1 litre if sold by volume. A unit price should also be provided for goods sold by number.
  6. The implementation of unit pricing should be accompanied with an education program that informs consumers about unit pricing. As part of this campaign, supermarkets should be required to display posters and stock pamphlets informing consumers about unit pricing.

To read our submission, click here: Inquiry into the Unit Pricing (Easy comparison of grocery prices) Bill 2008.

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