The Government needs to ensure there is continued fair access to food and that it remains affordable, National’s Economic Development and Small Business spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Given only a select group of retail operators have been granted permission to trade, it is incumbent upon them and the Government to ensure food prices are kept fair and competitive. 

“Already there are reports of prices in some places going up quickly which is extremely concerning. The Government needs to continually assess which retail food shops are able to trade and to monitor all price escalation.

“Where there is evidence of prices escalating unreasonably, the Government must take swift action. 

“National calls on retail food stores who are able to open to be responsible and not abuse their privileged position.

“The Government needs to ensure all communities have access to local food shops, including those in isolated and rural areas.  They should further consider the decision that local butchers and fruit and veg shops cannot open where dairies can.  

“Authorised food retailers and the public should at all times following the strict social distancing protocols. It make sense for the Government to continually review and refine the framework around access to vital food supplies.”

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