The nation’s supermarket giants, Coles and Woolworths have both recently launched initiatives to source produce from local producers in Far North Queensland.
The decision to source locally has largely been a result of consumers pushing for local produce as reported by www.carins.com. Findings in a 2011 Value of Australian Made survey found that 70 percent of respondents want access to more home-grown produce.
Woolworths “Local Sourcing” strategy was launched this year while Coles will hold a meeting with producers promoting its, “Meet the Buyer” program on 4 June.
Mark Matthews, chief executive of Advance Cairns believes that the initiatives will provide excellent growth and economic benefits to the region.
“We talk about buying locally and promoting the food bowl we have within the region but it’s not clearly understood how much we supply to the state,” he said.
“It would raise the profile of how important the region is in providing fresh food to the rest of the state and Australia as a whole.”
Coles with launch their “meet the buyer” events in Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania which the supermarket hopes will result in the introduction of over 100 new products.
Mark Scates, general manager for Coles Queensland believes that the program will provide valuable opportunities for local suppliers.
“We’re keen to meet the increasing demand for more locally-sourced food and we believe our Meet the Buyer events in Cairns and Brisbane will provide food producers with a great opportunity to show us why their products should be on our shelves,” he said.
A Woolworths spokesman said that the local sourcing strategy will bring more locally produced food to consumers in the region.
“Our new local sourcing strategy will give smaller suppliers the opportunity to work with Woolworths to a capacity that suits their business, whether that’s supplying three stores of 300,” he said.
“We know our customers love having a choice of local produce.”