This week’s supermarket review is unlikely to spare consumers from the rough end of the pineapple

Few things unite Australians in this post-pandemic era more than a good rant about the cost of stuff.

Since March 2020, the price of food has risen more than 17 per cent for working households.

Fuel prices, mortgages and rents, power bills and the weekly shop; the prices of the things we can’t live without all seem to be headed in one direction.

And it’s not good news for retailers with brand trust plummeting in recent consumer surveys.

But sadly for shoppers, the cost of food is unlikely to fall as a result of the federal government’s response this week to the first of half a dozen inquiries into the supermarkets.

The prospect of fines — potentially in the billions of dollars — and a revved-up complaints process are welcomed by farmers who argue that for too long they have been at the rough end of the pineapple when meeting the major retailers at the negotiating table.

Time and time again, growers of fruits, vegetables, milk and meat have privately recounted tales of bullying by the retailers, essentially pushing them to supply more for less.

Publicly they haven’t been prepared to speak out for fear of retribution.

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