Woolworths has announced a $7 million deal with SPC Ardmona, which will see the supermarket giant replacing imported fruit for its Woolworths Select range with produce from Goulburn Valley growers.
Woolworths managing director of supermarkets and petrol, Tjeerd Jegen, said the company's customers have been clear that they want Woolworths to support Australian producers and manufacturers.
"That’s why Woolworths has signed a contract with SPC Ardmona worth $7 million to source 13 lines of canned fruit from their growers in the Goulburn Valley. We are also sourcing three canned pineapple products from Queensland. These products replace Select canned fruit lines that were previously imported from South Africa and Thailand," Jegen said.
Woolworths will be sourcing Goulburn Valley fruit for its Woolworths Select canned apricots, peaches, apples and pears, strengthening the already solid relationship between the retailer and SPC Ardmona – Woolworths' largest supplier of canned fruit.
The bolstered relationship with Woolworths comes about four months after SPC let go of 170 of its Goulburn Valley fruit growers, citing the high exchange rate and a decline in export markets as key contributors.
Soon after, it was announced that 750,000 fruit trees in the region will be destroyed by spring, because growers are unable to sell their produce.
The new Australian Anti-Dumping Commission is investigating claims by leading food processors, including SPC Ardmona, that cheap imported produce is threatening the livelihood of Australian food manufacturers.