Finance SPC Ardmona and Woolies strike new fruit deal

SPC Ardmona and Woolies strike new fruit deal

The new deal equates to about nine million cans of fruit.
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Woolworths and SPC Ardmona have struck a three-year supply deal, confirming the supermarket giant will stay with the Shepparton fruit supplier.

The supermarket will be supplied fruit by SPC until 2019, it announced on Friday.

“SPC Ardmona has now signed a three-year contract to supply an increased volume of deciduous fruit to Woolworths for its private label ‘Woolworths’ brand, equating to around nine million cans of Australian deciduous fruit,” Woolworths said in a statement.

That confirms the two will continue their five-year partnership after a week of speculation Woolworths was not going to honour its $70 million deal signed in 2014.

That deal helped SPC Ardmona stay afloat, saving about 500 jobs and keeping growers in business.

“The satisfactory conclusion to these discussions on the ‘Woolworths’ brand is wonderful news for the farmers, workers and families of the Goulburn Valley,” SPC said in a statement.

But this week, the supermarket giant said it had dumped a separate tomato contract with the SPC, preferring to use another supplier.

Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford visited SPC Ardmona’s factory on Friday, speaking with workers and touring the facilities.

When the 2014 deal was struck, the Victorian government gave SPC $22 million to update its operations.

“The SPC brand is absolutely cherished here in the Goulburn Valley,” she said.

“It’s a source of employment for a couple of thousand people.”

She called on corporate players to stick to their words.