The National Farmers Federation (NFF) and farm groups around the country are outraged by a new proposal from Coles to sell shopping bags on behalf of animal rights group, Animals Australia.
The groups fear that funds generated from the sale of the bags could be used to fund campaigns designed to attack or undermine the Australian livestock industry according The Land.
The National Farmers Federation said that they were ‘extremely disappointed’ that Coles is considering the venture.
“While we understand retailers may wish to find a point of difference in their marketing, we are extremely disappointed Coles would consider partnering with an organisation that is blatantly anti-farming, openly promotes veganism and is actively working to stop animal agriculture,” the NFF said in a statement.
“On behalf of Australian farmers, many of whom supply Coles, we’re looking for an explanation.”
Queensland grazier Russell Lethbridge has also expressed his disappointment in the retailer by describing the move as a “direct kick in the face” for livestock producers.
“That would be a direct kick in the face to the people Coles deals with and grows product for on a daily basis,” Lethbridge told Weekly Times Now.
“Where the heck do you think Coles gets its beef from? They get it from us.”
Coles spokesman Robert Hadler confirmed that the retailer was considering the proposal and allegedly played down the negative perception that Animals Australia has amongst farmers. Hadler also said that the current partnership that the retailer has with the organisation regarding sow stall-free pork has nothing to do with the broader Animals Australia agenda.
“The partnership with Animals Australia and other community groups gives Coles an opportunity to listen as well as provide information to them about the practical supply chain issues that need to be managed,” he said.
“This allows us to work through issues in a way that helps farmers adapt to community expectations.
“We are confident we are engaging constructively with key community groups and listening to the views and working with them to achieve common objectives that our customers support.”