With the COVID-19 lockdown the options for buying elsewhere has gone, and people are in real trouble.
Cast your mind back to when you were in your local supermarket last, how where the shelves looking? Bare? Imagine then, you can’t drive to another supermarket and what is there is what you have until the weekly truck arrives with stock. How are you going to feed your family?
This is a very real scenario for people living in the Aboriginal communities throughout the NT, who have been ordered to stay in their communities to keep COVID 19 out and protect their loved ones.
Prices are too high
For most Aboriginal community stores in the Northern Territory prices are high, too high, and people generally only buy from their stores when they can’t get to the larger, cheaper supermarket chains in the bigger towns nearby.
With the COVID-19 lockdown the options for buying elsewhere has gone, and people are in real trouble. As far as we are concerned, food security is a very real issue, and Aboriginal Investment Group is working hard to help improve the situation for people living in the towns where they manage the community stores.
Zero profits on essentials
We have made a commitment to the Wirib Store in Timber Creek and Bagala Store in Barunga that fruit, vegetables, meat and chicken will be at cost price for the foreseeable future. Reducing the profit margin on these essentials to zero means the price will be more affordable.
Additionally, we will reduce the price of food on the Mob’s Choice list to be the same as Woolworths and Coles. For more information about Mob’s Choice products go here.
Mob’s Choice is a list of essential products that was created through community consultations and is always priced at a discount to ensure people have food security for the things they need day to day. We’ve gone further though to guarantee a price match with the big supermarket chains during the lockdown period.
More to be done with local and federal government
We are working with the Northern Territory government and their critical goods and services group to bring food security to the table as a priority. We believe more cooperation and coordination is needed from the local and federal government to improve food security through lowering prices in all NT community stores. We will continue to fight for this in the long term, but in the short term, we’re making sure the stores that we manage are coping as best they can in the lockdown circumstances.
We pose a challenge
We’re challenging all store manager groups to follow us. If AIG can bring down prices and we are a tiny operator, then we feel sure the bigger store management groups can do more to ensure there is food security for people who are in lockdown. As far as we are concerned this is not the time for being profits driven, although we would argue there is never the time for gouging from our most vulnerable. But that is a story for another day!
For more information on our store management check out our Annual Report