Australian chicken processors have been given permission to combine their market supply efforts until January to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and processing restrictions in Victoria.
An urgent authorization granted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given poultry producers Ingham’s, Turosi, and Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm approval to cooperate on various aspects relating to their Victorian plants.
Peak industry body, the Australian Chicken Meat Federation, will also be involved to assist processors to work together in the state, or involve the companies’ interstate plants, if required.
Notably, the ACCC has given the green light to processors sharing or co-ordinating the use of their respective processing plants, essential staff, facilities, and products to keep up with consumer demand.
Usually competition rules are enforced to prevent market collusion, but the relaxed conditions have been allowed to ensure sufficient supplies of chicken meat are available to shoppers.
Major processor Ingham’s made initial approaches to the ACCC to help it cope with labor restrictions at its plants in Thomastown in Melbourne and Somerville on the Mornington Peninsula.
The ACCC stated it recognized the need to avoid compounding the extent of job losses and manage the impact of the stage 4 coronavirus restrictions in Victoria on chicken growers and other parts of the supply chain.
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