Woolworths shifts grocery prices blame

Defying the global downturn with sales growth, the supermarket and retail giant is attempting to shift blame for the ever-increasing price of groceries.
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  • Updated:24 Jul 2009

01.Woolworths shifts grocery price blame

The peak body for the food and grocery manufacturing sector has slammed Woolworths for suggesting the industry was to blame for the rising food prices in Australia .

“It’s a bit rich for Woolworths to be targeting Australia’s food manufacturers while the supermarket giant generated bumper sales growth of 7.5% for the year to 30 June,” said Kate Carnell, CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

The supermarket chain’s CEO, Michael Luscombe, told ABC Radio yesterday that food and grocery manufacturers were the ones to question about the country’s high grocery prices, claiming multinationals “dominate” the food supply. “What you’re seeing in retail in general is a reflection of the cost increases that are being passed on to retailers,” he said.

However, Carnell argued Luscombe’s comments don’t stack up, saying people shouldn’t forget that Woolworths is one of the most profitable supermarkets in the world.

“Recently the big two supermarkets have sought to sheet home the reasons for Australia having higher prices on basic stuffs as being due to higher costs in the supply line and from producers,” said CHOICE spokesperson Christopher Zinn.

“While that may be the case to some degree, CHOICE believes market concentration and lack of true competition between these majors are also crucial factors.”


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