Woolies calls on Aldi to sign code


aldiWoolworths is calling on Aldi to sign the new supermarket code of conduct, claiming the discount chain’s private label products may be infringing on the intellectual properties of other national brands.

The voluntary code, agreed to by Coles, Woolworths, and the Australian Food and Grocery Council last month, will restrict the major supermarkets using their market power to alter agreements with suppliers, who have complained of having their profits squeezed by the big retailers.

“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.”

The German-based supermarket chain, which first landed on Australian shores in 2001, is yet to declare its position on the code.

“In order to get a level playing, I can’t understand why every retailer is not signing up to the code,”Jegen said.

“Everyone is asking for a level playing field and we’re providing it now.”





  1. Jon posted on December 10, 2013

    What right to Woolies have to make any demands. Pfft! The only reason they're going down this path is because it's in the financial interest...

  2. Paulette Steele posted on December 10, 2013

    I'm never been in any doubt about Aldi's brands being their own and have never thought of it being any other brand. It is very obvious that with the advent of Aldi in Australia this has forced Woolworths and Coles to become more competitive and cease the duopoly that they had on the supermarket industry. The same applies I've noticed to the likes of Target, Big W and Bunings as well on some general merchandise pricing. It's great to see such healthy competition!

  3. Chris posted on December 10, 2013

    Woolies...... what part of VOLUNTARY do you not understand ????? Take a look at your own "Home Brands" and where the fresh produce actually comes from... Why doesn't Woolies set an example and only use AUSTRALIAN produce in their Home Brands or will that make you less competitive....? DIDUMS !

  4. Eoin Barnett posted on December 10, 2013

    I agree with Woolworth's concern. I am surprised that Aldi have been able to blatantly steel the intellectual property of national brands the way they do without recourse.

  5. stuart bennie posted on December 10, 2013

    Aldi is a fantastic retail concept. Their entry and expansion has been mind blowing. They don't stock sour grapes. Do Woolies and Coles?

  6. kevin posted on December 10, 2013

    one thing to remember and that is if an aldi product slightly resembles a name brand product aldi actually pays to have the boxes or package labled differently. also if they find that the name brand product is cheaper than the aldi lable they stock that product instead. for instance you will occaisionally see nutri-grain cereal in aldi. then a few weeks later you will see the aldi brand in its place. aldi runs a business that is dynamic and reacts to the market. coles and woolies operate an investment business that is solely interested in market share outcomes and how they may be perceived by the populace. coles and woolies are always "look at me, look at me" while aldi is the quiet acheiver who just gets it done.

  7. Peter posted on December 10, 2013

    isn't Aldi foreign owned and all profits go overseas? I think so.

  8. Peter posted on December 10, 2013

    The code that's in question is a start to help ALL suppliers who are being abused by market power. All major players in the supermarket field should join the code as its there to help the suppliers. It may not be the be all and end all but it is a start to help our Aussie farmers and suppliers.

  9. Eoin Barnett posted on December 10, 2013

    It is not a matter of whether or not Aldi is or is not a good concept! What is important is that they are stealing intellectual property from other brands and companies who have paid a lot of money to develop those brands and to become recognized in the marketplace. Aldi and Woolworths and Coles all have every right to have their own brands but they should not be allowed to give an impression that they are something that they are not. The intent of the Aldi graphics is obviously to give the impression that they are the National Brand product rebadged for Aldi. This may or may not be the case.

  10. Tom Brown posted on December 10, 2013

    If Aldi actually used a trademark illegally it would be litigated to Aldis disadvantage. It is interesting to see the term "Intellectual Property" used without specification as an argument in its own right. The Duopoly controls the system so any agreement is between them. It is not going to be in favour of competition but to lull the public into an apathy with the appearance of fairness . Where you have a restriction as in this case, the power will be in favour of the dictatators i.e. those with the power unless an independent body is available and I am sure the duopoly does not want an independent power. Let section 5.1 of the trade practises act apply to these contracts then you may get some fairness, but that will never happen.

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