Food & Wine

Woolworths CEO responds to backlash after ‘Made in China’ paper bag furore

Woolworths CEO responds to backlash after ‘Made in China’ paper bag furore

Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci has responded to new demands for more Australian-made products in stores.

Addressing shoppers directly, Banducci says the supermarket is working on ways to make it easier to identify locally made products.

The store came under fire after it was discovered that their new paper bags are made in China.

Woolworths has also faced criticism over its decision to drop Aussie owned and made Farmers Co Peanut Butter from stores due to a “sustained period of underperforming sales”.

There’s also a petition calling on all supermarkets to introduce an “Australian-made” aisle in their stores.

Banducci has welcomed the calls for clearer signage on Australian-made products, saying “it’s a challenge we’re up for”.

“As we start to recover from COVID, we understand how important it is to support Australian businesses and in turn our communities,” wrote Banducci in a recent email to customers.

“That’s why, to support Australian dairy farmers, this week we announced that we will extend our existing dairy contribution payments for Woolworths branded two and three litre fresh own brand milk varieties until June 2021.

“This extension is expected to contribute more than $30 million to dairy farmers, on top of the almost $50 million we, together with you, our customers, have already contributed. Thank you for your continued support for this key initiative.

“This is in addition to our commitment to an Australian-first sourcing policy for fruit, vegetables and meat and supporting local products where possible.

“We have also heard your feedback on how to make identifying Australian products easier when you’re shopping – it’s a challenge we’re up for and one we are working on.”

Last week, the supermarket also announced it was looking to find a local manufacturer in Australia who could produce its new paper bags following the “Made in China” backlash.