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Thread: Information please: farmers, manufacturers and generic brands?

  1. #1

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    Default Information please: farmers, manufacturers and generic brands?

    ok, so my focus for several years has been human trafficking, but over the past few weeks, I've been trying to broaden my view to include other forms of ethical living.

    I remember reading something here a while ago about how coles or woolies or wherever would stop buying someone's goods, and then would later offer to buy them for a portion of the cost to be used to ... and under generic labelling, so no marketing, no glory ...

    does anyone have any information about this, so I can make some decisions about our household purchasing?

    TIA

  2. #2

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    The only frozen veg I will buy are Birds eye as they are Australian owned and they are the only ones that guarantee they always use Australian produce. McCain screw over farmers as well.

  3. #3

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    Hey Peanutter, i can tell you my friends story.....

    Her family has a farm. They grow fruit. They are quite a large farm, one of the biggest of it's type in Aus. They were selling their fruit, under their brand, to one of the big 2 supermarkets. IT was a huge percentage of their business. When their contract was up this big supermarket chain said they would only buy their fruit if they could also sell it under their own label. And they were only willing to pay x amount. Which was MUCH less than they were previously paying. They basically said, if you don't agree to our terms, we wont buy any of your fruit at all. So they pushed them into a corner, screwed them right down and then sold my friends fruit at a reduced cost under their own label, so no-one would buy their more expensive branded version. They are bullies. Things like this happen constantly.

    I refuse to buy home brand. Yes, i guess i can afford not to, but we'd all like save money where we can. I have no issue with the quality of it, but again, the big supermarkets buy the product from people, and sell it cheaper, undercutting the original supplier who becomes the competition. This eventually leads to smaller businesses not being able to produce their own product. They either fold, or don't package their own products and sell the product 'raw' to the supermarkets to package and sell cheaply. If this trend continutes, there will be no small businesses. Instead of having a few choices of one product, we may ONLY be able to buy homebrand and they will be able to charge whatever they like as they have priced everyone else out of the market. I like to have a choice. and i don't like bullies.

    The are so big that often businesses don't have a choice, they have to agree to their demands or they wont buy from them.

    Did you follow the story of the $2 milk? That $2 milk has devastating effects on farmers trying to make a living. They can't produce the milk for the price the supermarket is willing to pay. But again if they don't sell to the 2 big supermarkets, they don't have a lot of choice to sell it elsewhere. So yes, i still buy milk for $4 or $5 to support the farmers. Dairy farmers 'at war' with Coles, Woolworths

  4. #4

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    thanks, trillian. will have to look out for bird's eye

    do you know anything about the generic brands?
    Last edited by peanutter; May 30th, 2011 at 05:00 PM.

  5. #5

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    Have you got an iPhone? There is a great app called 'shop ethical 2011' and it's helped me make better buying decisions .

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    The best way to shop ethically and support Aussie farmers is to get a copy of the Ausbuy Guide. It lists all Australian owned products. This doc here is a submission made in the recent milk pricing inquiry and it outlines pretty clearly what the impact on farmers will be because of 'own brands' . Food labelling laws now state that the 'country of origin' should be listen on all products so the consumers can easily know where the product comes from. As JungleMum said, own brands will still often be from Australian farmers, but they screw them down on price so much they are essentially held to ransom, so it is the principle of it more than anything.

  7. #7

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    It's great isn't it Leesa, except it makes buying things hard sometimes! You think it's ok, but then find it's actually owned by someone else.

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    Oh tell me about it junglemum!

    It really can limit some purchases, but I don't mind as I feel I'm doing my little bit to help the cause. I don't mind paying extra $$ for an item either.

  9. #9

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    we watch landline, and they often have info about farmers selling direct. Peanutter, I've sent you a link for citrus.

  10. #10

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    Our entire area used to sell seville oranges to the australian big brands and supermarkets until about a decade ago when the supermarkets starting running the show. The valley where I live pretty much supplied Australia with it's marmalade- then, just as in the story that Junglemum shared, the supermarkets started offering way less, and wouldn't buy from the companies our farmers were selling to- so now all of our farmers have had to change their hundred year business to suit whatever they can actually sell. I haven't said this well, but I won't buy homebrand frozen veggies, canned fruit or veg, or conserve. As far as I know, they do the same with meat and produce....

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trillian View Post
    The best way to shop ethically and support Aussie farmers is to get a copy of the Ausbuy Guide. It lists all Australian owned products. This doc here is a submission made in the recent milk pricing inquiry and it outlines pretty clearly what the impact on farmers will be because of 'own brands' . Food labelling laws now state that the 'country of origin' should be listen on all products so the consumers can easily know where the product comes from. As JungleMum said, own brands will still often be from Australian farmers, but they screw them down on price so much they are essentially held to ransom, so it is the principle of it more than anything.
    fantastic - I will look into this. thanks!

    Thanks also, Junglemum! Really sorry to hear what happened to your friend. That's the sort of thing I'd heard of once before, but I didn't know whether it was urban legend or true. Really sorry to hear it is true Re $2 milk, no I hadn't heard ... I remember when I was little that milk was fixed price ... not sure what happens now ... will have to look into that, too ...

    Leesa - same here, within reason ... we can't increase our food budget by much at the moment, but there's a few key things we cant to change our purchasing habits in, so if we start all the research now, we can start to incrementally improve!

    and thanks, kazbah!

    we're also giving Aussie Farmers Direct a crack at the moment ... we're happy so far.

    ETA:

    Thanks also krystals. Sorry to hear that happened to your area
    Last edited by peanutter; May 30th, 2011 at 09:45 PM. Reason: snap! posts crossed ...

  12. #12

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    The big supermarkets put pressure on an organic meat producer DH used to deliver for. Basically, rebrand as us or we no longer buy from you. They are no longer in the major supermarkets.



    Talking to the local dairy farmers, it seems to just have your brand on the shelf, you also have to sell at a reduced price to them for the own label.

    Often you do find out who is the supplier, but it does change. So one year it could be an ok producer, but the following it could be someone who is not ethical supplying the homebrand.

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