Woolworths’ SPC tomato deal canned, fruit contract uncertain

Image: Mark Stewart

Woolworths has confirmed it will no longer source tinned tomatoes from SPC Ardmona in Shepparton, and won’t say whether it will continue to buy tinned fruit from the Goulburn Valley cannery.

The Herald Sun reports that a “goodwill” deal to buy SPC’s tomatoes had ended, with pressure coming from federal and state politicians for the supermarket chain to continue its five-year, $70 million contract for home brand canned fruit.

“Woolworths needs to honour their contracts. Everyone in this arrangement needs to honour their contracts,” said opposition leader Matthew Guy.

AAP reports that Woolworths is currently discussing volumes and prices for the coming season, as it does every year.

Woolworths says it remains committed to the “spirit” of the partnership, which has helps support employment of roughly 1,000, plus a similar number of indirect jobs.

As reported yesterday, Woolworths is considering the end of its five-year contract with the Coca Cola-Amatil-owned Ardmona, which was announced in 2014 while the cannery operation was fighting to stay open.

“They really got on board with the Buy Australian campaign at that time and it’s pretty cynical behaviour now two years into a deal to back out,” Shepparton independent MP Suzanna Sheed told AAP yesterday.

It received $22 million in Victorian government support from the former state government to modernise its facilities.