National mail carrier, Australia Post, has announced it will continue to ship perishable goods despite recently calling an end to that freight task.
Earlier this month, Australia Post cited complex food safety and regulatory requirements per state and territory as its reason for ceasing the delivery of perishable goods from July.
In welcome news to the industry, Australia Post will 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 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 e-commerce sales during Covid-19,” said Boys.
“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 e-commerce industry.”
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,” said Billson.
“I am encouraged by the willingness of Australia Post and industry stakeholders to work together to help resolve any issues Australia Post is experiencing across its delivery network.
“So let’s roll up our sleeves so that we can achieve a better outcome for e-commerce powered small businesses who rely on these essential postage services.”
Australia Post will continue to ship perishable goods as this forum continues to convene, with the first meeting between Australia Post and the Ombudsman to occur Tuesday next week.
The broader industry group will then meet in May, with a view to hold regular sessions with key regulatory bodies, government agencies and e-commerce experts.