Food retailer Coles has rejected claims that it has a discriminating policy against Victorian farmers on importing its home-brand pork.January 23, 2013 9:00am
Coles recently announced all its Coles-brand products were from piggeries which did not use sow stalls but the VFF has claimed Coles is still importing pork products from European countries which can still use sow stalls.
Coles has responded with a letter to the VFF saying Coles audited its overseas home-brand supply chain to ensure Coles’ standards were met.
Sow stalls, used to confine a pig during pregnancy, are being phased out in Australia following a pig industry vote in 2010, but European countries that trade with Australia can use sow stalls for up to 25 per cent of a sow’s pregnancy.
VFF pig group president John Bourke said it was unfair to the consumer to have sow-stall and non-sow-stall produce on supermarket shelves.
‘‘There can’t be one rule for domestic produce and another rule for all other imports.
‘‘We want the same sow-stall-free rules for all local and imported produce, home brand and non-home brand,’’ Mr Bourke said.
Market figures released by Australian Pork show that in 2011-12, 28.2 per cent of Australian pork imports came from Denmark — a country from which Coles openly sources produce.
‘‘Almost all the bacon is coming from Denmark, and they are still allowed to use sow stalls for four weeks — so that’s not a sow stall ban,’’ Mr Bourke said.
Australian Pork figures also show that a majority of Australian pork imports for 2011-12 came from countries without comprehensive sow stall bans.
While Coles’ decision is a step in the right direction, Mr Bourke encouraged the supermarket to develop a consistent policy on domestic and imported pork products.
Coles corporate affairs general manager Robert Hadler said Coles had altered its import meat supply arrangements to only source from the European Union including Holland, Sweden and Denmark.
‘‘We have those supply chains independently audited and comply with our local standards,’’ Mr Hadler said in a letter to the VFF.
Coles’ head of responsible sourcing and quality, Jack Healing, said the initiatives met a strong customer desire for better animal welfare.
‘‘Animal welfare issues continue to be one of the major concerns customers raise with us; they want to know that animals have been properly treated,’’ Mr Healing said.
Coles has quoted support for its policy from RSPCA and Animals Australia.
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Matches were split up over Good Friday and Easter Saturday throughout the region.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.