Press Releases

October 21 2016

Eight Year Simplot Deal to Increase Demand for Aussie Veg

Tasmanian, New South Wales and Queensland farmers will grow millions of extra vegetables as part of a new agreement between Coles and Simplot to supply Aussie-grown produce from Simplot for the next eight years.

Under a supply contract which has been extended until 2024, Coles has committed to sourcing an additional 6 million kilograms a year of Australian-grown vegetables which was previously sourced from overseas.

The new contract strengthens a 20 year relationship between Coles and Simplot. It also follows a five year contract signed by Coles in 2014 to source 100 per cent Australian-grown vegetables from Simplot for Coles Brand frozen vegetable and potato products.

Simplot Managing Director Terry O’Brien said the extra volume for the new contract would be sourced from Simplot for the Coles and Birds Eye brands.

“The new contract will benefit more than 240 growers in Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland by providing long term security for these growers and their communities,” he said.

“It means growers will need to plant more crops so Simplot can supply an extra 6 million kilograms of Australian-grown produce and this will benefit all those who contribute to the manufacturing of Aussie grown products including site workers, truck drivers and regionally-based service providers.”

The extra demand for Simplot, which has been a valued supplier to Coles for more than 20 years, represents a 25 per cent increase in the volume of Australian grown frozen vegetables supplied to Coles.

Coles Managing Director John Durkan said the Simplot contract was an important extension of its Australian-first sourcing policy.

“We know our customers want to buy Australian grown food so we’re pleased to be extending our 20 year partnership with Simplot to source more vegetables from Tasmania, NSW and Queensland,” he said.

“We started on the Australian grown journey with Simplot in 2006 when we entered into our first contract for Australian grown frozen vegetables and potatoes. Then in 2014 we converted all our Coles Brand frozen range to Australian-grown vegetables. Now two years later, we are delighted to be sourcing an extra 6 million kilograms of Australian grown frozen vegetables and potato each year from Simplot.”

The new contract brings the volume that Coles sources from Simplot to 56 million kilograms of Australian grown frozen vegetables and potato each year.

Simplot produces 30 Coles Brand frozen vegetable and potato products as well as a broad range of Coles Brand products in chilled and frozen fish, chilled and ambient sauces, chilled pasta, meals and Australian-grown beetroot.

In addition, Simplot supplies Coles with more than 200 of its own branded products including Birds Eye, Edgell, Leggo’s and John West.

Simplot employs 2,800 Australians and over the past 20 years has continued to invest in its six regional manufacturing sites at Ulverstone, Devonport, Echuca, Pakenham, Kelso and Bathurst.

Scott Vaughan is a grower from Dubbo, NSW who supplies sweet corn to Simplot “The Coles and Simplot commitment is welcome news that will deliver Aussie grown corn to Australian families for a further five years.”

Second generation Tasmanian farmer Stuart Greenhill welcomed the announcement by Coles to extend their commitment to Australian grown for the Birds Eye and Coles Brand frozen vegetable ranges.

“The extension of the contract to 2024 gives us added confidence to plant our crops and more security in our future,” Stuart said.

Stuart’s farm is in Wesley Vale in northern Tasmania and he grows potatoes, cauliflower, beans and carrots for Simplot.

Pea and bean grower Stewart McGee from Bishopsbourne, Tasmania, also welcomed the announcement.

“This announcement of a further five year commitment gives growers confidence to plan for the future and this benefits our communities,” he said.

Fourth generation Tasmanian farmer David Addison also welcomed the new agreement between Coles and Simplot.

“This announcement is an important endorsement of the investment we’ve made as Australian farmers,” David said.

Addison family farming began in 1860 at Moriarty in northern Tasmania when David’s great grandfather, Edwin Addison, purchased land. The business, now called Addison Farm Produce and is run by David and his sons James and Mark, supply Simplot with peas, beans, potatoes, carrots, brassicas and onions.

Queensland sweet corn grower Brad Qualischefski from Qualipak in Gatton said the announcement by Coles was great news for Australian vegetable growers.

“The support from Coles and its customers for Australian grown vegetables is a great endorsement of the high quality of our vegetables and the future of our industry,” he said.

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