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.