Animals Australia: the voice for animals

Animals Australia: the voice for animals
Love life? Love all of life

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Aussie Farmers Direct

Herself has signed us up. First delivery is yet to arrive. Someone knocked at the door - and it seems like a great way to support our farmers. You see in Australia our grocery retailing is in the hands of a duopoly - Woolworths and Coles. There are independents - an Australia wide one IGA and locally there is Maxi. Here at The Trad Pad, Maxi is our preferred grocery retailer but we do shop at Woolworths when it suits - for very good specials or a particular product. You see we don't want to give most of our grocery dollar to supporting the market dominance of Woolworths - not only in groceries but in hotels, liquor retailing, and poker machines. What do you think, dear Reader, when you see the Roll Back poster in Woolworths proudly boasting that they are rolling back prices? Miss Eagle thinks there are two possibilities:
  1. This is untrue - and prices are not rolling back i.e. when are they rolling back to? - are they rolling back on every item or only some items?
  2. This is true - but how is the rolling back being done and at whose expense? Stories persist of farmers being squeezed; of farmers being flooded with paperwork as Woolworths imposes their auditing procedures upon them. And what about employees - are their wages and working hours and intensity of work being squeezed too? Are suppliers being forced to cut and cut their prices to get shelf space to put their products up front?

Miss Eagle suspects that the answer to each question is in the affirmative. Woolworths are progressively introducing their trendy looking house brand, Select. Some stories are around that Select is gradually taking shelf space away from other wholesalers. In other words, Woolworths are not giving existing suppliers a fair deal. Dear Reader, if you are not already taking time to check the labels on all the products that go into your shopping basket - please do so from now on. To whom are you transferring the power of your grocery dollar vote? Towards Australian business and employment or to foreign businesses who do not pay their employees well, who do not meet appropriate environmental standards? If you think this is exaggerated, Woolworths had to answer questions recently about Select brand toilet paper which had its source in unsustainable forest harvesting.

As a consumer, dear Reader, are you prepared to be relieved of what power you might have and give the decision-making to large corporations to make decisions in their own interests which, in the end, may not be in your best interests?

So, here at The Trad Pad, we are willing to give Aussie Farmers Direct a go.


Gina E. said...

I flatly refuse to buy the Select brand from Woolworths. If I don't know who made the product or where it was made, I don't want it. Brand names aren't being GRADUALLY pushed aside - they are crammed in to the very bottom shelves, or disappearing completely.

Anonymous said...

I use Aussie Farmers direct but am interested to know if their ham and chicken is from cruelty free farms... I used to buy free range chicken from Coles, but am not sure if the Aussie Farmers chicken is free range or what? Otherwise I am very pleased with their free deliveries each week...