Aldi said the voluntary code of conduct negotiated between Woolworths, Coles, and the Australian Food & Grocery Council last month was focused on the practices of the two major supermarket chains, reports The Australian Financial Review.
“Aldi, which has a very different business model and approach to supplier relationships, has not been asked by the AFGC to take part in the drafting of the code,” an Aldi spokesperson said.
“In principle, we support the concept of signing an industry code which ensures a sustainable future for Australian growers and manufacturers. However, we will await the feedback from the Australian Government and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and provide input during the public consultation period that follows in the New Year.”
Earlier this week Woolworths called on Aldi to sign the voluntary code, claiming the discount chain’s private label products may be infringing on the intellectual properties of other national brands.
“One of our major competitors has 96 per cent of their range that is own-brand,” Woolworths MD of supermarkets, Tjeerd Jegen, told The Australian Financial Review.
“If you don’t look carefully, you’d think it came from suppliers’ brands,” Jegen said.
“In order to get a level playing, I can’t understand why every retailer is not signing up to the code.
“Everyone is asking for a level playing field and we’re providing it now.”