SUPERMARKET juggernaut Coles will look to strike deals with Tasmanian farmers to ensure fresher produce in their Australia-wide stores.
Last Wednesday, Coles managing director John Durkan said the company wanted to make more fresh produce investments to reduce the amount of time popular fruit and vegetables were out of season in Australia.
The company has flagged investment in strawberries, sparking the interest of Tasmanian growers.
On Friday, Longford Berries Grower Dennis Betts said he would be interested in a potential deal with the supermarket giant.
A spokeswoman for Coles confirmed the company would welcome new partnerships with Tasmanian farmers.
“Currently we have around 100 Tasmanian suppliers of fresh produce and groceries for our 16 supermarkets in Tasmania but we’re always looking to increase the proportion of local, home-grown products on our shelves,” she said.
“Coles takes great pride in working with Tasmanian farmers and food companies to provide the very best locally grown food for all customers who visit our stores every week.”
The spokeswoman said Tasmania had long been a strong area for investment.
“Tasmania has been vital to our business for many decades and we are delighted to stock our shelves with around 500 lines of Tasmanian-grown dairy, deli and meat products plus dozens of different varieties of Tasmanian-grown fruit and vegetables.
“In January last year in a move which benefited growers in Tasmania, Coles also signed a five-year contract with Simplot to source only Australian-grown vegetables for its Smart Buy frozen range – in addition to its existing Coles Brand frozen vegetables commitment with Simplot.”
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