Supermarket giant Woolworths has confirmed it will end its year-to-year arrangement with SPC Ardmona to supply its private-label tinned tomatoes, but said it would not cancel a five-year contract that helped bail out the Victorian company.
The announcement came after the company denied reports it was considering walking away from a five-year contract struck as part of a $70 million rescue package to keep the Shepparton cannery from going under.
The 2014 deal saved hundreds of jobs in northern Victoria, directly at SPC and also those working for producers.
Woolworths said the year-to-year arrangement covering tinned tomatoes was separate to the contract signed two years ago.
“We remain committed to the spirit of our five-year partnership with Coca-Cola Amatil’s SPC Ardmona … and we’re presently engaged in discussions covering pricing and volumes for the coming season,” Stephen Donohue from Woolworths said in a statement.
“A separate year-to-year arrangement for the supply of Woolworths-brand Australian tinned tomatoes from CCA’s SPC Ardmona has now concluded and we have advised that we will not renew this.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to source Australian-made tinned tomatoes we have now commenced supply from another local provider who sources their tomatoes from the Murray Valley region in Victoria.”