What's wrong with our Coast bananas

By MICHELLE DAY

JANEL Feltrin went out to get groceries at Woolworths last week and came home with a case of frustration.

"I saw them unpacking the bananas and I saw they were from Tully," she said yesterday.

The local banana farmer was outraged that out-of-state produce was on the shelves without being labelled as such.

"People should know what they're buying and where they are buying it from," she said.

"They should have to label where the bananas are from because people assume they are from Coffs. I understand that you can't always get Coffs Harbour fruit, but surely they could at least put New South Wales fruit on the shelves."

A Woolworths spokesperson yesterday said that as a national chain, they sourced produce nationally.

"It's very complex logistically and for food safety and quality standards, our products have to come from one source," she said.

"The complexities of State and locality labelling are substantial. We comply with legislative requirements when it comes to labelling and at this stage there is not a requirement to identify the States from which bananas are sourced. We can't import bananas, they have to be Australian. We are required to identify the country of origin."

However, Janelle remains unconvinced.

"We don't sell directly to Woolies, they have to go through an agent . . . (but) Woolies and Coles, the supermarket big guns, dictate to us price and how produce should be packed. We have to do what they want," she explained.

"Other supermarkets buy local produce, why can't Woolworths?"



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