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Farmers fear Scott's Refrigerated Logistics collapse could impact produce delivery

Farmers fear the collapse of a national freight company could impact fresh produce delivery across the country.

Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics, which has depots in every mainland Australian state and employs about 1,500 workers, entered voluntary administration on Monday.

It’s Australia’s largest cold chain refrigeration logistics company that delivers for supermarket giants Coles and Aldi.

National Farmers Federation chief executive Tony Mahar said news of its closure came as a shock.

He said he was concerned about the potential impacts on the transport and delivery of fresh produce.

“The fact the collapse of a single company can disrupt such a large component of Australia’s food supply chain demonstrates the severe issues Australia has with increasing market concentration in our supply chains,” he said.

“We hope the receivership process can resolve this company collapse quickly to allow a return to the transport and delivery of fresh produce from farmer to consumer.”

KordaMentha has been appointed receivers.

Freight industry impacts

National Road Transport Association chief executive Warren Clark said the flow-on effects would be felt across the whole transport sector, right down to the consumer.

“People will pick up the work but there is still going to be disruptions to the freight chain and it’s those disruptions that the consumers will feel right through the whole system,” Mr Clark said.

“It just shows the amount of pressure that’s on the transport and freight sector, and that pressure is coming from the top.”

He said the industry operated on an average profit margin of 2.5 per cent which, combined with other factors, was hurting business.

Along with a driver shortage and outdated infrastructure, the biggest concern raised by drivers is fuel costs after the government’s decision to halve fuel tax last year.

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