Woolworths has announced plans to support small and medium sized producers in Australia with its Local Food Sourcing Strategy.
Earlier this week Acting NSW Premier Andrew Stoner unveiled the first locally sourced products hitting shelves in late January as part of the strategy, including a range of jams and conserves from nine local producers in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.
"It's great to see Woolworths committing to support more small and medium NSW businesses. This is great news for consumers, great news for local businesses and great news for NSW," Stoner said.
Tjeerd Jegen, Woolworths managing director of Australian Supermarkets and Petrol said the supermarket giant will be working with local producer come to appropriate production and supply arrangements.
"We recognise that supplying 890 Woolies stores can be a daunting prospect for small and medium businesses, and may simply be beyond the reach of their production capacity. Woolworths’ Local Sourcing Managers will work with these suppliers to design a plan that suits their business, whether that’s supplying three stores, or 300 stores," he said.
Woolworths will appoint local sourcing managers in each state, who will identify local products, host Local Sourcing Road Shows to communicate opportunities for suppliers and develop plans for those interested.
"Australians are justifiably proud of their local produce, so we are making it easier for local suppliers to work with our buyers, and we are investing in more direct local sourcing so that our customers can enjoy the unique products their community has to offer," said Jegen.
One of the newest local suppliers, Eric Robinson of the Port Macquarie Food Co. said, "This is a very exciting opportunity for a small business like us, and it's been a great experience – the process is really easy.
"We are passionate about supporting our community – that's why we source all of our ingredients from local growers. With our products on the shelves of 43 Woolies stores, we will be able to share the flavours of our community with a much wider group of customers."
Other locally sourced products hitting shelves in late January are:
Hank's Jam from Brookvale in Sydney, NSW will be stocked in 278 stores
Blue M Jam form the Blue Mountains, NSW will be stocked in 32 stores
Hill & River Jam from the Hunter Valley, NSW will be stocked in 17 stores
Officers’ Mess Conserves from Daylesford, VIC will be stocked in 50 stores
Yarra Valley Gourmet from the Yarra Valley, VIC will be stocked in 76 stores
Country Cuisine Jam from Daylesford, VIC will be stocked in 30 stores
Rhu Bru Jam from Scottsdale, TAS will be stocked in three stores
Tasmanian Gourmet Kitchen from Longford, TAS will be stocked in three stores