Analysis and Commentary

What exactly is the point of the supermarket duopoly?

Analysis and Commentary

By Peter Roberts

You really would pull your hair out if you stopped to think about the supermarket duopoly’s commitment to Australian industry – you know the growers and industry manned by its customers – Australians.

The first image (pictured) last night on the Woolworths Group website is captioned – Growing Together for 36 Years – referring to one supplier to the supermarket, which by the way made a profit of $1.6 billion last year.

But as fruit supplier SPC found out yesterday, this is PR hiding a lack of commitment to Australian made, if a greater profit margin can be had elsewhere.

SPC has apparently been told that orders of peaches would be reduced by 40 per cent, and pears would be reduced by 60 per cent.

This not only affects workers in the Victorian city of Shepparton, one of our last canneries and one of Australia’s few remaining locally owned brands, but rural communities of suppliers.

Some Woolworths fruit tins come from China or there are South African peaches, while some sliced pears use fruit from South Africa.

Woolworths – I don’t want to buy Chinese rural produce – this is the country that added melamine to baby formula.

And Woolworths, would you be happy if there was no – absolutely no – local alternative supplier to imports?

Because purchasing decisions like these cuts is where your predatory policies are taking us.

Woolworths PR team goes into overdrive when they discover that they actually stock something made in Australia, such as when they reshored nappie production.

But a stroll down the isles at the retailer reveals only a sad number of categories where Australian made products feature.

Yes there are potato chips and soft drinks, and fresh products such as bread, eggs and dairy, but in so many areas you can’t find Australian made products for love nor money.

And in so many areas the prime position is occupied by foreign product.

Good on you fresh food people.

Apparently findings by the Australian Made campaign that consumers seek out local products doesn’t equate to Woolworths favouring local products.

The Nationals have been championing Australian growers against the supermarket duopoly, but let’s add Australian manufacturers who value-add that produce in their communities.

It is a linked value stream – but then again the supermarkets only see one value stream, and that is the one heading towards shareholders.

Further reading:
Woolworths reshores nappie production to Sydney

Picture: Woolworths Group

Share this Story
Analysis and Commentary

Stay Informed

Go to Top