Coles & Woolies Are Being Urged To Freeze The Price Of Ham In The Lead Up To Christmas

Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt has called for a supermarket price freeze in the lead-up to Christmas, accusing Coles and Woolworths of “profiting off hardworking Aussies”.

In a statement issued today, Watt called upon the supermarket duopoly to “freeze on the price of leg ham”, adding that supermarkets had been recording increased profits while households were struggling to afford the basics.

“Presents for the kids, fuel to get to the other side of town to see your parents, fresh seafood as well as drinks, the cost of Christmas can really add up,” he said.

“Anything that can be done to give families a hand during this time would really be beneficial.”

He said that he was calling for a price freeze on ham as it was a “staple” that would give families some certainty, however said that the cost of “a lot of things” was going up.

“For the average Aussie, it doesn’t make sense that the price on the bottom of their docket is going up while these companies are recording massive profits,” he said.

“The government is doing our bit to help with cost-of-living pressures, now it’s time for the business community to also do their part.” 

A half leg of ham is currently $8 per kilo at both Coles and Woolworths.

It comes as the Greens announced they were launching a senate inquiry into supermarket price gouging. Both Coles and Woolworths have denied the accusations of price gouging, but Greens Economic Justice Spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said the duopoly had “too much power”.

“Coles and Woolworths are making billions in profits because they feel that they can overcharge people without repercussions. It needs to end,” he said in a statement.

“It’s time to smash the duopoly.”

In a statement issued yesterday, a Coles spokesperson said the company was “always exploring ways to reduce prices on the products we sell” and was “not immune to the increased cost of doing business”.

In a similar statement, Woolworths said it was “working to offer relief” on grocery costs.

“As we start to see the rate of inflation ease, we will continue to focus on delivering savings to our customers,” a spokesperson said.