CAPE York’s leading remote store operator Community Enterprise Queensland has entered a partnership agreement with Australian Grocery Wholesalers (AGW), a wholesale business within Woolworths Group.
Under the agreement, AGW brings Woolworths products to CEQ’s extensive network of remote stores across Cape York.
CEQ chief executive Michael Dykes said the deal would give customers greater variety when shopping at their local store.
“The feedback we’ve had so far on the new range has been encouraging,” he said.
“Serving remote local communities is very different from the locations that Woolworths primarily operate in.
“Our customers do not have the opportunity to go to the next store if we have items that are not available.
“Before embarking on this bold change, we needed to ensure the partnership with AGW recognised this difference and that we had a shared understanding on the importance of consistent supply to our community stores.”
Woolworths Wholesale general manager Shaun Burton said AGW utilised Australia’s largest food and grocery supply chain network, which would ensure continuity of food supply to CEQ’s remote stores.
“CEQ is a leader in delivering quality retail and essential services within Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities, and AGW is all about sourcing and merchandising Australia’s very best fresh food and groceries for customers,” Mr Burton said.
“Drawing on our respective strengths, we’re confident our partnership will help deliver a better food and grocery shopping experience for Far North Queensland and Torres Strait communities.
“In doing so, we also hope to have a positive impact on health outcomes and contribute to closing the relevant gaps in this space.”
As part of the agreement, AGW is assisting CEQ’s remote store teams with retail training via coaching and mentoring, as well as online support from Woolworths Food Academy.
While this is Woolworths Group’s first commercial arrangement into remote communities, the company has supported supply and food relief to impacted Cape York communities during severe weather events and during the COVID pandemic.