Mixed opinions from farmers over Coles’ boutique food plan

Victorian Farmers have criticised a plan by Coles to sell boutique food brands in regional stores, but the representative body for Western Australian farmers has welcomed the idea.

The Victorian Farmers Federation said suppliers will continue to struggle against the major supermarkets, who are able to offer extremely low prices due to their size and, according to industry sources, through their bullying behviour.

Earlier this week, Master Grocers Australia slammed Coles and Woolworths for swooping into small regional centres with stores that are too big for the population, in a bid to wipe out the independents.

But now, the Western Australian Farmers Federation (WAFF) president Dale Park has welcomed the idea, but only if their products are not sold at a higher price than others on offer.

"It's not Coles who are making the final decision on this, it's the people who are actually buying the products from Coles who are making the final decision," he said.

"If the products from Coles are too expensive, people won't buy them and there won't be a market."

"The trick then is to make sure that you can get enough for your product to keep producing it, as I've said more than once the most important people in the whole line of food are the people who produce it in the first place and the people who eat it in the last place," he said.

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