Centre City New World's Braedan Trompetter beside the local growers poster being displayed in South Island New World supermarkets. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Foodstuffs would continue to support and promote local
suppliers to its network of supermarkets but without banning
foreign products, Foodstuffs New Zealand managing director
Steve Anderson said yesterday.
Contacted by the Otago Daily Times, Mr Anderson said
he was watching with interest the developments in Australia
where supermarket operators Woolworths and Coles were taking
New Zealand products off their shelves.
The companies are trying to be the ''most Australian'' and
some New Zealand exporters, such as Nelson-based Talleys, had
seen their products banned.
Mr Anderson said Foodstuffs, which operated New World, Pakn'
Save and Four Square brands, understood the need to provide
customers with choice.
''We try and support as much local produce as we can. But we
would be stupid not to bring in things like Australian
tomatoes in winter, when we don't have a local source.''
The Centre City New World, in Dunedin, was displaying a
''your local suppliers'' sign this week, which Mr Anderson
said was a Foodstuffs campaign which the 41 South Island New
Worlds had been running for about a week.
The promotion took the form of in-store posters and mailers
which highlighted the fresh fruit and vegetables grown in the
South Island and the regions and growers where New World
sourced its produce, he said.
Otago grower Tim Jones was among those who feature in the
promotion, having grown cherries in the region for 25 years.
The six growers selected to take part in the promotion
reflected the group's commitment to local suppliers.
''Wherever possible, we source New Zealand-made and grown
products and we're proud of the strong relationship we have
with local suppliers. We felt it timely to celebrate the
fabulous produce they offer us and the variety and quality
afforded to our customers, thanks to them.''
New World was also committed to sourcing meat locally, where
practically possible, Mr Anderson said.
While the news of the Kiwi produce ban was making headlines
in New Zealand, a search yesterday of Australian newspapers
did not find any major stories on the dispute.
Prime Minister John Key brought up the ban with Australian
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who said affected New Zealand
suppliers could make a complaint with the Australian Consumer
and Competition Authority.
Morningstar analyst Tim Montague Jones said from Sydney he
had not heard anything about the so-called ban and, if it was
in place, it did not make sense to take New Zealand products
off the shelves of Woolworths and Coles.
''Consumers expect the best products and the best prices and
it would be suicidal, in some respects, to take away foreign
He agreed with Mr Abbott that if the practice was seen as
anti-competitive, complaints could be made to the ACCC. Asked
if there was a wave of Australian patriotism, Mr Montague
Jones said he was unaware of any fervent nationalism.
''People are looking for good quality products at a good
price. If the best product is from New Zealand, it doesn't
make sense to not offer it on shelves. It comes down to price
Woolworths operates the Countdown supermarkets in New
Zealand. Coles is part of the Wesfarmers which also operates,
in Australia, KMart, Target, office suppliers and resource