Woolworths new 7000 jobs Claim a Phurphy
What about the jobs lost from the small family farms and local businesses
Woolworths recently announced that it was creating 7000 new jobs? On
the first glance this looks OK but just scraping below the surface of
their media hype we see a darker picture of duopoly control of the food and
grocery market in Australia.
My personal experience also bears this out, back in December 2001 my wife and I toured regional NSW and often would go and buy produce from local farms who sold at the gate or had retail outlets on their farms. Many were telling us that they would soon be forced to close because the big supermarket chains were controlling the market, forcing prices down and only buying from approved suppliers in huge quantities under contracts way beyond the family farm’s possibilities.
The end result is the demise of the family or medium business farm and the agriculture of the nation being run by huge corporations often owned by overseas cartels and run as factories with no regard to the land or variety or quality of the end product. How long since you tasted a really nice tomato?
Small business has never been easy but now it is being squeezed inexorably out of existence by the direct and indirect effects of multinational and huge monopolies operating in the marketplace. The returns and profit margins are creeping downwards, and farmers rarely have any significant surplus cash these days to weather a drought. Farming is more than just a business it is alive and cannot be successfully turned into a mechanical factory system as the monetarist economists have been telling us. These people probably couldn’t grow a head of lettuce if their life depended on it!
Most small businesses in country towns I have seen are actually mining the future of the business to keep going, basically running at next to zero profit or at a loss, and hoping to make some money by selling it at a capital gain. Thus the constant turnover of small business owners in small towns and the erosion of community and social spirit and values.
Employment This process will increase the decline in rural employment and the loss of local small business from rural areas. Consequently, as a result, an increasing percentage of farm work will likely be carried out by a reducing number of drifting casual workers instead of locals, as technology further reduces the human input to agriculture.