VFF launches #TellUsWhy supermarket campaign
Wednesday 23 October, 2013


 

VICTORIAN farmers have launched a social media campaign urging consumers to pressure supermarkets into using more Australian-grown produce in their house brands lines.

“The concept is simple and uses social media to help consumers exercise their power over supermarkets by asking the simple question – #TellUsWhy - Coles, Woolworths or Aldi – you’re selling French peas or carrots, Chinese corn, sliced peaches from Swaziland or China?” Victorian Farmers Federation social media advocate and media advisor Tom Whitty said. 
 
“We’re asking to consumers –‘next time you’re in Coles, Woolworths or Aldi check the fine print on the food you’re about to buy. If it’s an import take an image on your phone, then send it with the #telluswhyWoolies, #telluswhyColes or #telluswhyAldi hashtag and your comments to the VFF - as a Tweet to @VicFarmers or post it on our on the VFF’s Facebook page.’
 
For example:
-       #telluswhyColes you’re using Chinese sliced peaches in your Coles snack packs for kids
-       #telluswhyWoolies you’re using French peas in your canned Select Brand
 
VFF president Peter Tuohey said the campaign comes on the back of growing public, political and media concern that supermarkets’ use of cheap imports in their house brands is forcing Australian farmers’ produce off the shelves.
 
“We’ve already worked hard to raise concerns about the impact of cheap imports on our farmers, with growers having to push over trees in the Goulburn Valley and local food processors laying of staff or closing factories,” Mr Tuohey said.
 
Woolworths has already responded to public pressure by committing to using Australian-grown frozen vegetables in their Select house brand and replacing $9 million of imported tinned fruit with Goulburn Valley growers’ fruit.
 
“It’s a great first step and we hope other supermarket chains follow Woolworth’s lead,” Mr Tuohey said.
 
“However more can be done. Tinned fruit represents just half the processed fruit on Woolworth’s shelves. The rest is imported plastic-packed fruit from Swaziland and South Africa, a lot of which is eaten by kids.”
 
As part of a VFF campaign we’re calling on Woolworths, Coles and Aldi to take the final step and replace imports with Australian grown.
 
“Just imagine how many more trees and livelihoods’ could be saved if all supermarkets committed to using local produce,” Mr Tuohey said.
 
The campaign is in direct response to a resolution from members at this year’s VFF Conference, who called for action on imports used in supermarket house brands.

 
How consumers can take action

Next time you’re in Coles, Woolworths or Aldi check the fine print on the packet of sliced ham, plastic snack-pack of sliced peaches, canned peas or tomatoes or even home brand frozen vegetables. You may need a magnifying glass to read the label!
 
If it’s an import (not made in Australia) take an image on your phone, then send it with the #telluswhyWoolies, #telluswhyColes or #telluswhyAldi hashtag and your comments to the VFF - as a Tweet to @VicFarmers or post it on the VFF’s Facebook page
 
-       #telluswhyWoolies you’re using French peas in your canned Select Brand
-       #telluswhyColes you’re using Chinese sliced peaches in your Coles snack packs for kids?
 
The VFF will then re-post your message on the relevant supermarket’s Facebook and Twitter platforms.

 These supermarket house brands are typically: 

Woolworths’ “Select” “Homebrand” and others with the Woolworths peeled apple symbol.
Coles’ has its own “Coles” and “Smart buy” brands.
Aldi is dominated by its own “Aldi” brands.

 
Don’t forget to use the hashtag

#telluswhyColes

#telluswhyWoolies

OR #telluswhyAldi


Media contacts:

Peter Tuohey, VFF President                                  0428 952 425

Tom Whitty, VFF Public Affairs Advisor             0466 466 035