Home > Jamie Oliver campaign success a “furphy”: AUSVEG

Jamie Oliver campaign success a “furphy”: AUSVEG

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Woolworths has claimed its Jamie Oliver healthy eating campaign has been “great” for growers, but AUSVEG isn’t convinced.

Woolworths has said the campaign has received a “great response from customers” who are “buying more fresh food”, ABC Ruralreports.

“It's great for our customers to be eating better and great for our growers to be selling more fresh produce,” Woolworths said in a statement.

But AUSVEG chief executive Richard Mulcahy said Woolworths’ does not have evidence to back its claims.

“Frankly, we're a bit sceptical about what benefits will flow to us,” Mulcahy said. “We'd like to see people increase their consumption, but I'd have to say that generic marketing of fruit and vegetables - there's a long history of this not having much impact.”

“In terms of the overall per capita consumption, we've seen very little movement in 20 years.”

“I don't think this will have any positive impact ... I think that's a furphy. I think it's all about market share for a particular chain. Not one country in the world that has embarked in generic marketing has seen any per-capita increase in consumption,” he said.

The campaign has been heavily scrutinised by AUSVEG, who called upon the ACCC to investigate Woolworths’ behaviour, who are allegedly seeking contributions from Australia’s horticulturalists to pay for their Jamie Oliver campaign.

According to AUSVEG, the payment is in the form of a new 40c per crate charge on top of the 2.5 – 5 per cent fee growers are already required to pay Woolworths for them to market and promote their produce.

Woolworths said the contribution was entirely voluntary and that the contribution is less than 2 per cent of the cost of a case of produce.

AUSVEG then wrote to Jamie Oliver, requesting that he ask the retailer to give refunds to the farmers who have contributed to the campaign.

The Jamie Oliver Group responded and said Oliver is concerned, but has no sway with the grocery retailer.

In a letter to AUSVEG, the Jamie Oliver Group said “Jamie, naturally, is concerned when he hears about small producers suffering financial hardship and your letter will be discussed with Woolworths further at our next senior-level meeting to ensure farmers are completely clear about the aims of the program”.

 Image: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

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