CFA calls for better and more unit pricing

The Consumers Federation of Australia’s (CFA) submission to the Federal Government’s review of the Retail Grocery Industry (Unit Pricing) Code of Conduct calls for:

  • Continuation of the present requirements that specified grocery retailers must provide unit pricing and that any voluntary providers must comply with the same requirements as other providers.
  • Grocery unit prices to be much easier for consumers (including those with disabilities and in vulnerable or disadvantaged situations) to notice, read, understand, and use.
  • More grocery retailers to be required to provide unit pricing.
  • Non-grocery retailers such as pharmacies (for non-prescription items) and hardware stores to be required to provide unit pricing.

The Code requires very large supermarkets and online grocery retailers to provide the unit price (price per unit of measure) of pre-packaged grocery products like breakfast cereals and milk.

It is being reviewed because it started in 2009 and so is now subject to the 10 year legislation “sunsetting” rule, unless its continuation can be justified.

CFA’s submission reaffirms its strong and longstanding support for the provision of effective unit pricing in order to facilitate informed consumer choice.

The submission also says that:

  • The unit pricing provided by the Code is used by, and is of great benefit to, many consumers by assisting them to make better informed choices.
  • There are many major systemic problems with the unit pricing provided by grocery retailers under the Code and these are causing substantial detriment to consumers, the community and the economy.
  • The main problems include: inadequate prominence and legibility of unit prices, non or obscured provision of unit prices, use of inconsistent units of measure, insufficient monitoring and enforcement of compliance, and insufficient consumer education.
  • There is great scope and need to obtain even more benefits from grocery unit pricing, by substantially changing the Code, and its implementation and administration.

A copy of the submission is available here

There is still time to have your say! Participate in the online survey or submit answers to questions in the review discussion paper by 28 February.