Customers lap up meat price cuts
CONSUMERS have welcomed a move by supermarket giant Coles to cut the price of some meat lines in another skirmish in the battle for market share.
However, meat producers and local butchers are wary of the move.
Coles have put prices on the chopping board, cutting prices on mince, sausages, beef and lamb products by up to 28 per cent. The price cuts are part of Coles' Down Down campaign which aims to reduce grocery bills.
The supermarket chain recently cut prices of toilet paper and reduced store-brand milk to $1 a litre.
Coles merchandise director John Durkan said the discounts would provide some welcome relief to Toowoomba residents in the face of rising household bills.
"Even with more than 6000 prices lowered since we launched the Down Down campaign last year, we know that many families are still facing tough times," he said.
"By investing in lower prices we hope to ensure that every Australian family can afford to continue serving up the very best Australian meat."
But every war has its casualties and concerns have been raised the price cuts would mean a raw deal for producers.
A similar controversy was sparked when Coles lowered the price of milk with many dairy farmers saying it would have a big impact on the industry.
Pilton Valley sheep farmer Glenn Tripney said the price cut was a double-edged butcher's knife.
"It's great news for me as a customer, but not so much as a sheep farmer," he said.
"Producers will likely see lower prices for their products after the price cuts and I guess we should enjoy the prices while they last."
Mr Durkan was adamant the price cuts would be fully funded by Coles and wouldn't impact Australia farmers.
"Like our customers, we care about Australian farmers and are committed to working with them to bring our customers the very best Australian meat and produce," he said.
"In fact with lower prices and great quality, many customers will buy even more meat which is good news for farmers."
Mark Martin from Toowoomba Butcher's Supplies said the move would have a negative impact on smaller Toowoomba butchers, but just how much of an impact remained to be seen.
"I imagine Woolworths and IGA will eventually follow suit so there will definitely be an impact," Mr Martin said.
"However, most of the butchers in town are already cheaper than the major supermarkets and many products will still be cheaper even after the Coles discount."
New Coles brand meat discounts (per kilo):
- Lamb loin chops: Was $25, now $18 (28% saving).
- Beef rump steak: Was $19, now $13 (26%).
- Loin chops: Was $18, now $13 (28%).
- Leg roast bone in: Was $9.50, now $7 (26%)
- Beef casserole chuck steak: Was $9, now $8 (11%).