Woolworths responds to MP's 'boycott' calls over milk move

Federal MP Kevin Hogan has questioned Woolworths' loyalty to Aussie farmers.

Federal MP Kevin Hogan has urged Aussies to boycott Woolworths after reports emerged this week the supermarket is axing Norco milk — an Australian owned and operated dairy brand — from its Sydney stores. However details which he based his boycott on have been deemed inaccurate by the supermarket.

On Tuesday, the Shadow Minister for Trade and Tourism posted a media release titled 'Boycott Woolworths' and slammed the supermarket over reports that over 90 Metro stores would stop selling the brand.

"We saw their allegiance to Australia on Australia Day. I've boycotted them since that day, and I encourage my community and other people too, because they're no friend of Australian farmers," he told Yahoo News.

Left, Norco milk on refrigerated shelves in Woolworths. Right, Federal MP Kevin Hogan looks stern in a suit.
Federal MP Kevin Hogan is encouraging Aussies to boycott Woolworths after reports it will remove Norco milk brands from stores. Source: ABC and Courier Mail

Norco milk has three main factory sites with one milk factory bordering Hogan's electoral division of Page and the ice cream factory belonging inside it in Lismore. In his media release, Hogan claimed Woolworths "don't support our region" and urged the community "please don't support them."

Woolworths defends decision to pull Norco milk from stores

Yahoo News understands 150 stores in Sydney will stop selling Norco milk due to a lack of demand, however, an increased range of the milk products will instead be available in NSW stores north of the city and in Queensland.

It is understood the initial figure of 90 stores was misreported, with Hogan quoting this in his press release. The supermarket said Norco milk will be replaced with other Australian owned milk brands in Sydney stores.

"We continue to have a close relationship with Norco and stock their products in all our Queensland stores and NSW stores north of Sydney," a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News.

"In our Sydney stores, the space made available by the removal of Norco has been given to other Australian-owned milk brands — Riverina and Dairy Farmers... All our fresh milk is 100 per cent Australian sourced."

However, Hogan remained firm on his stance saying he will continue to boycott Woolworths and urge others to do the same until loyalty to Australian brands is more apparent.

"They're basically taking Norco milk off 90 stores and they can say they're compensating somewhere else, well we'll see about that," he told Yahoo after being informed the figure was misreported by other publications.

MP's gripe over Woolworths ice creams

Hogan also pointed to several Woolworths own brand ice creams which are made overseas, including the six-pack mini chocolate ice creams and vanilla bean one-litre ice cream tub made in Slovenia and New Zealand respectively.

"The bottom line is they used to source ice cream from Norco locally and they're now going to be sourcing ice cream from Slovenia and ice cream from New Zealand," Hogan told Yahoo News.

Left, the media release from Kevin Hogan MP. Right, Kevin Hogan holds Norco ice cream.
The Norco ice cream factory is within Hogan's electorate division. Source: Kevin Hogan MP

The supermarket did not respond to enquiries about these specific products but confirmed other own-brand products used Norco as the manufacturer, including its "Woolworths ice cream pints and two-litre containers" in a number of states.

"We have supported Norco following the reopening of their ice cream factory last year after it was damaged in the 2022 floods, immediately stocking their Norco brand ice cream in stores nationwide," the spokesperson said.

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