Woolworths to continue purchasing fruit from SPC

Image: Shepparton News

After losing a contract to supply tinned tomatoes and speculation that Woolworths would end a five-year, $70 million fruit contract early, SPC Ardmona has seen the supermarket chain agree to purchase an increased amount of tinned fruit over the next three years.

The Herald Sun and others report that Woolworths made the announcement on Friday night, ending a week that saw a community backlash against the rumoured decision.

The level of community support had been “incredible”, said SPC Ardmona managing director Reg Weine.

“Support for regional Australia, its farmers and its communities, has never been more important and SPC will continue to fight for the Goulburn Valley and for a level playing field,” he told the Herald Sun.

The new contract is for three years, and covers the equivalent of nine million cans of deciduous – falling off when mature – fruit, to be sold as Woolworths’ private label product. A separate deal for tinned tomatoes ended last week.

‘‘The vast majority of the Woolworths and SPC partnership relates to SPC’s iconic branded products — in addition to buying our fruit for their private-label franchise,’’ Woolworths’ statement read.

‘‘SPC Ardmona and Woolworths have worked collaboratively and will continue to work together to reduce costs and improve efficiency in our supply chains.’’