Dick Smith Foods' last stand

Dick Smith is relaunching his Australian-made foods brand, saying it is now more important than ever to support local farmers unable to compete in a price war.

We ain't beet yet: saviour comes to the rescue in vegetable price war

Aldi has started selling own-brand tins of beetroot for just 75 cents, forcing Woolworths and Coles to follow suit. But farmers and the only Australian-owned cannery, Windsor Farm Foods, have warned the prices are not sustainable.

One of the country's few beetroot farmers, the Fagan family in Cowra, were considering ploughing their large crop back into the soil because they could not can their beetroot cheaply enough to compete with Aldi's prices.

Determined to save the vegetable that is rarely missing from a hamburger, the entrepreneur, Dick Smith, stepped in this week and bought the Fagan's beetroot crop for almost $80,000 and will have it canned...

Ed Fagan, a fifth-generation farmer, said importing vegetables were increasingly making their way into Australia.

''We are struggling to find people to grow for,'' Mr Fagan said.


"Specialise, trade, close your eyes, and hope for the best" is not a plan, it's brain-dead ideology.

File under: suicidal paralysis by blind aherence to free-trade dogma always and everywhere.


  1. Visited your great country just last month and I bought the best locally grown celery I have ever had at the Eumundi Markets, but it was $6 a bunch.
    I will remember the quality long after I forget the price- people do not just buy on price.
    There is no waste with good food also, as it is all eaten.

    I could not buy Oz garlic at Coles...it was from Mexico and there was no choice.
    Here in Auckland we have imported Oz tomatoes, beans and mandarins currently at Woolworths.
    We send back tinned food to you , which now comes through Heinz-Watties in the Hawkes Bay NZ.
    The low NZ dollar, and lower wages has meant more processing here for export.

    “I point out that I have never been asked to put a Christian symbol (or any other religious symbol) on our food requiring that we send money to a Christian organisation for the right to do so.” Dick Smith on being asked if his range will apply for halal status. ...heh.

  2. In theory free-trade should be a win-win situation and often it is. But it's such an open-ended process that nobody knows where it will end, and the ravages of uncontrolled global demand and supply (and exchange rates) make it difficult to predict what crops the farmers should plant today. We need a better model of economics, one that offers more predicability, even if it costs us a few dollars more.

    Yeah, good move by Dick Smith to avoid the halal label.

  3. I have just discovered that Woolworths 'Fresh Food People' import their frozen beans and peas from CHINA!! Also Cottees jams are made from imported fruit. McCain frozen veges are from New Zealand and some of them are also imported there. It is so hard to find Aussie home grown produce.

  4. Yeah, it's getting crazy. Apparently Chinese frozen veggies are relabeled in NZ and then shipped here. I buy organic as much as possible these days.