Massive Losses as Orders for Perishable Goods Plunge

Concerns are growing that as a result of lockdowns across Australia, tens of thousands of tonnes of perishable foods have to be destroyed.

The food is being held in stock by family-owned and operated food distribution businesses that supply cafes, restaurants, hotels, and clubs across the three states where lockdowns are most prevalent: NSW, Victoria and SA. Because much of the food has use-by dates, the stock will have to be dumped if cafes and restaurants cannot reopen in time.

“The closure of Australia’s hospitality scene has a trickle-down effect on our members who supply these venues,” said Richard Hinson, chairman of Independent Food Distributors Australia (IFDA) which represents hundreds of family-owned businesses.

“Restaurants and cafes are cancelling their orders for millions of dollars worth of perishable food and other goods – in NSW, our members are reporting that revenues are down by as much as 70 per cent.”

Hinson said many cafes and restaurants are shutting indefinitely because they are sick and tired of the stop-start nature of lockdowns.

He wants the Federal Government to introduce additional concessions for independent food distributors, similar to the instant asset write-off tax concessions introduced for other industries last year.

“Small businesses that operate in the food distribution sector should have the ability to write off the cost of these perishable goods for tax purposes,” he said.