Congratulations to the Abbott Government for showing spine and refusing to throw taxpayers’ money at SPC Ardmona. Although I suspect the principal reason for the decision has to do with the ownership structure – Coca Cola Amatil owns 100 per cent of SPC Ardmona. In turn, 30 per cent of Coca Cola Amatil is owned by the US company Coca Cola Holdings.
If Coca Cola’s name was not associated with SPC Ardmona I suspect that it would have been more difficult for the Government to resist throwing money its way.
There are two reasons for SPC’s failures. First, the workplace agreement, as noted by Judith and others, is over-the-top.
But the principal reason is probably that it sells products no one really buys anymore. There have been significant changes in the pattern of food consumption over recent years, and the average Australian doesn’t eat canned fruit to the extent they did in the past. The relative price and availability of fresh fruit has declined and people prefer to serve fresh fruit rather than the canned variety.
Even if SPC fixed its enterprise agreement, and even if the Government threw money at the beast, it would face this market reality.
I expect canned fruit is going the way of SPAM. An older generation may still buy these products, but the market is on the decline.
Meanwhile the Hon. Bill Shorten MP wants to follow in lockstep with his Union overlords. The Rudd Government promised at the 2013 election to send $25 million to SPC Ardmona and $90 million to Coca Cola Amatil (incidentally chaired by David Gonski).
It seems that Gonski’s preferred financing tool – in both the education sector and in the business sector – is to attract taxpayer largesse. But he isn’t the only company director attracted to rent seeking. While US MBA students learn how to innovate and create wealth, the principal subject in an Australian MBA is how to lobby Governments for a share of the taxpayers’ purse.