SPC says it has been “vindicated” by the Australian Anti-Dumping Commission’s (ADC) decision confirming all Italian canned tomato manufacturers are guilty of dumping product in Australia.
SPC managing director Reg Weine said: “This is a win for SPC and our growers, and for Australian industry, which faces daily pressure to compete with cheap imports and those cutting corners and putting slavery in a can.
“Recent reports of slave labour used to produce canned Italian tomatoes and mafia involvement are shocking. Australians need to know where their food is from and if it’s been ethically produced.
“Australian retailers need to come to the party by supporting Australian manufacturers and making Australian made and grown products readily available and easier to identify and find on shelves.”
Since 2010 the illegal dumping of products has resulted in material damage to SPC, including a loss of 40 per cent of its volume and reduced profitability, as it struggled to compete on price with these dumped Italian tomato products.
“You can’t provide €183 million in subsidiaries to the Italian tomato industry and expect it not to have downward pressure on production costs,” Mr Weine said.
“I urge all Australian consumers to support our farmers and at the same time consider the quality, value, ethics and food miles of Australian grown products when they choose to buy tomato products in retailers.”
According to Ibisworld, the pasta sauce production industry in Australia has performed solidly over the past five years, in contrast to the downward trend exhibited by many manufacturing industries.
Industry revenue is expected to grow at an annualised 2.5 per cent over the five years through 2015-16, to reach $145.7 million. This includes growth of 2 per cent for 2015-16.
This story first appeared in C&I Week.