Food security, remoteness and consolidation of supermarket distribution centres: factors contributing to food pricing inequalities across Queensland, Australia

Singh-Peterson, Lila, Lieske, Scott, Underhill, Steven J. R. and Keys, Noni (2016) Food security, remoteness and consolidation of supermarket distribution centres: factors contributing to food pricing inequalities across Queensland, Australia. Australian Geographer, 47 1: 89-102. doi:10.1080/00049182.2015.1093700


Author Singh-Peterson, Lila
Lieske, Scott
Underhill, Steven J. R.
Keys, Noni
Title Food security, remoteness and consolidation of supermarket distribution centres: factors contributing to food pricing inequalities across Queensland, Australia
Journal name Australian Geographer   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1465-3311
0004-9182
Publication date 2016-01-02
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/00049182.2015.1093700
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 47
Issue 1
Start page 89
End page 102
Total pages 14
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC Australia
Publisher Routledge
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract There is a clear association between food prices, affordability and issues of food security. Australian food supply chains have lengthened in recent years in response to consolidation policies of the dominant supermarkets, which have reduced the number of distribution centres in order to maximise economic efficiencies. This study presents a spatial analysis of a healthy food basket survey undertaken across Queensland, Australia in order to identify the primary determinants of food pricing. Ambiguity in the academic literature on this subject is largely due to limitations of the utilised methods. Our results indicate that food price variability is directly related to the type of store surveyed, and the distance of the surveyed store to the supermarket distribution centres in Brisbane, or urban centres on the east coast of Australia. Population size of towns and the level of social disadvantage observed in communities were indirect determinants of food prices. Therefore, in order to lessen the disadvantage already encountered by communities located in outer regional and remote areas who pay increasingly more for food than their urban counterparts, policy interventions need to move beyond subsiding food costs and consider the relationship between fuel prices and the lengthening of dominant food supply chains, in addition to the capacity of local supply chains.
Keyword Food supply chain
Food security
Food miles
Food distribution
Econometric spatial analysis
Distribution centre consolidation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Official 2016 Collection
 
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