Coles becomes an agribusiness farmer in all but name

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th July 2012

Australian supermarket giant Coles has revealed it is the major customer of Australia’s newest mushroom farm taking almost 100 per cent of its production – around 50 tonnes per week at full production will be acquired by Coles from the $10 million Parwan Valley Mushrooms production facility near Bacchus Marsh in Victoria. Australian Food News previously reported the official opening of the facility in mid June 2012.

The move by Coles could signal a more direct vertical shift into agribusiness by Australia’s major supermarket groups.

Chief Executive of Parwan Valley Mushrooms, Mr. Tim Adlington said: “Coles has been on board with this development from day one. Their commitment to the project and the quality product we produce gave us the confidence to invest. They are at the cutting edge of promoting fresh produce to their customers and that will help us sell more mushrooms. We hope to develop new varieties for Coles which will provide even more opportunities to grow the business and create more local  jobs.” The new farm employs 80 people.

Coles says it operates an ‘Australia First’ sourcing policy and only imports when product is not available from within Australia.

Coles also recently announced a $1 million boost for Australian capsicum growers to grow 200 tonnes of capsicum that was previously being sourced from New Zealand.