Business

Coles denies pushing generic milk

COLES has denied claims it is using shelf space in its supermarkets to push its home-brand milk ahead of branded products.

A Senate committee investigating Australia's food processing sector on Tuesday heard from the supermarket giant as part of a wider hearing into the industry.

Committee chairman Senator Richard Colbeck asked why when he went to buy milk that the shelf space was clearly dominated by Coles home brand products.

Senator Colbeck said if he wanted branded milk - processed by brands not owned by the supermarket - he had to specifically ask staff, and it was often "out the back".

Coles merchandise director John Durkan told the inquiry Coles had no plans to grow its home brand product range, except in line with overall sales.

But Mr Durkan said "consumer choice" had driven double-figure growth of the company's home brand milk since it started a milk price war with its main competitor, Woolworths, in January last year.

He said the increase in shelf space dedicated to Coles milk was a result of customers buying the generic brand.

But he denied Coles was trying to push branded products out of the market.

"We build up all house brands as part of our strategy to grow all our sales," he said.

"Our aim has always been to look after our farmers, and in general farm gate prices have increased since then (milk price war)."

The committee asked whether Coles had ever retrospectively informed suppliers of changes to the retail sale price of their products, forcing producers to accept new prices.

Mr Durkan said that the company had policies against such practices, and in his time, he had never heard of such action being undertaken within the company.

But he said prices were negotiated on a day-to-day and week-by-week basis, but the huge retailer never used its market influence to force suppliers to take prices without first negotiating.

Senator Colbeck said food producers and processors had come to the committee complaining that trading terms (price negotiations) were being used to transfer risk from the supermarket back on to suppliers, especially when negotiating sale prices on individual products.

Mr Durkan said negotiations were not used to manipulate supply volumes, but simply to change prices "according to the market".

"Operationally, there are no retrospective price changes - the only way we can changes prices is through negotiations in advance."

The inquiry will report to parliament on June 30.

Topics:  coles, milk, senate inquiry



Grove Juice Warwick plant expanding into the future

JUICE PLANT: Grove Juice is expanding further into the Axis Industrial Park.

Expansion means great news for the Warwick economy.

Team sport vital for Warwick kids

SPORTING SPIRIT: The recipient of a major volunteer award, Linda Bunch talks about the future of sport.

Linda Bunch talks about junior sport in Warwick.

Our region ranks highly for campers but can we get them to stay longer?

Caravanners and campers spending an average $152 a night in our region.

We are the second most popular spot for caravanners and campers in Q

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


Madonna poses naked in solidarity with Katy Perry

Madonna posted her own nude selfie on Instagram

Carlos Santana added to Bluesfest 2017 line up

Carlos Santana at Bluesfest 2013.

Calling all local black magic women

Disney to remake 'The Lion King', and it's live-action

The Lion King is coming back to movie theatres

And this time it's going to be live-action.

The Dixie Chicks to headline 2017 CMC Rocks festival

US country music group The Dixie Chicks.

ORGANISERS move festival dates to lock in US country music stars.

What's on the big screen this week

Denzel Washington in a scene from the movie The Magnificent Seven.

DENZEL Washington returns in a shoot-em-up Western.

Our funny bachelor bows out

The Bachelorette contestant Aaron Brady from Golden Beach. Supplied by Channel 10.

COAST marketing executive eliminated from The Bachelorette.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.