Woolworths to Source Frozen Vegetables Locally

WoolworthsAustralian retailer Woolworths has announced a $17m plan that will see them cease importing frozen vegetables for its Private Brand products in favor of supporting local food.

The move will see the retailer commit to purchasing an additional 5100 tones of frozen vegetables from Australian food manufacturer Simplot, replacing imports from China, Europe and New Zealand

“We don’t think buying (frozen vegetables) from us just because we are Australian grown is sustainable for Woolworths — or any buyer — in the long term; we want them to want our product because it is financially attractive too,” said Simplot’s managing director, Terry O’Brien.

“To do that we have to bring down the costs of processing at Devonport; and the only way we can do that will involve new machinery, new processing methods and significantly less labor.”

Tjeerd Jegan, managing director of Woolworths, said that the supermarkets decision to switch back to Australian grown frozen vegetables was driven by consumer demand for locally grown food.

“Our customers are passionate about great Aussie-grown food, and so are we,” said Jegen.

SOURCE: Foodmag.com

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.