A partnership approach with Mulgowie Farming Company has helped Woolworths to replace baby corn imported from Thailand with fresh Australian-grown supplies.
The relationship has spanned more than two decades and has been a win-win for both organisations and Australian consumers, with the Mulgowie-grown baby corn from sweeter varieties and available all year around.
“In 2004, Woolworths recognised an opportunity to replace imported baby corn with Australian baby corn, Mulgowie Joint CEO Fabian Carniel said.
“We were approached to undertake some trials to see if it was viable to supply baby corn from Australia.
It was, and to date, we remain the only Woolworths supplier of baby corn and we supply Woolworths’ stores Australia wide.
Mulgowie grows baby corn, fresh sweet corn, fresh beans, fresh broccoli and fresh capsicums on three latitudes of Australia: Home Hill and Bowen in North Queensland; Lockyer Valley and surrounding Districts in south east Queensland; and Glen Innes NSW and Boisdale in Gippsland Victoria.
Not only does Mulgowie supply Woolworths with fresh fruit and vegetables 365 days a year, but their close relationship – based on trust and mutual respect – has enabled Mulgowie to further invest in their business and continue to innovate in their categories and farming techniques.
Woolworths’ National Manager for Produce Paul Harker said the long-term relationship between Woolworths and Mulgowie provided the perfect opportunity to capitalise on an opportunity to replace imported baby corn with fresh Australian baby corn.
“When the opportunity arose for us to replace our imported baby corn with Australian grown, we were keen to work with Mulgowie, Paul said.
“Wherever possible, Woolworths looks to supply our customers with Australian-grown fruit and vegetables. We’d developed a terrific relationship with Mulgowie and were confident they could deliver, and they did.
Mulgowie prides itself on having the people and processes in place to deliver quality product at every step in the supply chain.
“Our farm and packing operations operate under Woolworths Quality Assurance and the fruit and vegetables are packed to Woolworths specific product specifications, Fabian said.
“This quality assurance starts from our agronomist and field teams checking crops daily to ensure proper crop care and optimum harvesting quality, followed by strict quality assessment of the crop during the grading and packing process.
“Currently we supply Woolworths nationwide with around 40 million cobs of fresh sweet corn a year. This is delivered from our farms to Woolworths stores within one to three days, which wouldn’t be possible without stringent processes in place.
“Like Woolworths, the consumer is at the centre of everything we do, Fabian said. “We will continue to deliver quality fresh fruit and vegetables as well as new innovative products that continue to excite consumers in Woolworths’ stores nationally.
Download a copy of Australia's Fresh Food Farmers case study booklet