Consumer advocate Choice is pushing for better country of original labelling after a review found that the two supermarket giants in Australia have less locally made products on its shelves.
Michael Lipsitz picks out a bag of chips while grocery shopping at the WalMart in Crossville, Tennessee March 21, 2008.
The Choice inspection discovered that only 55 per cent of Coles's private label products were manufactured in Australia and only 38 per cent in Woolworths. In contrast, locally made items accounted for 92 per cent of market leader grocery goods.
The basis of the review was Choice's comparison of 350 products across 90 popular grocery items such as cereals, biscuits, snacks, canned goods and frozen package food.
However, the two supermarket giants belied Choice's claim.
Cole said 90 per cent of the private label products are local made and grown, while Woolies claimed 71 per cent. The two competitors said the consumer group, which found 19 of 21 Woolies tinned fruit and veggie products and 9 of 13 Coles similar items are from overseas, insisted that Choice only went through a small percentage of their private label items in its review.
"We have an Australian first sourcing policy for our private label products," Coles said in a statement.
"Our import replacement programme is currently focusing on increasing Australian sources products in rice, frozen vegetables, canned fruit, canned vegetables and frozen poultry," Woolworths said.
For their fresh fruit and veggies, the two grocery giants said it is 96 per cent sourced locally and 100 per cent for fresh meat.
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