Health food retailer Whole Foods is pushing for a healthy alternative to supermarkets that use pesticides and antibiotics.
Health food retailer Wholesale Organic has been pushing for organic supermarkets to be allowed to sell their own products.
Wholesale is calling on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to reconsider its current approach to its competitors, which has resulted in the supermarket chain being banned from participating in the organic food market.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is set to issue a report in February which will detail how consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.
But Whole Foods and Wholesales are concerned the ACCC’s current approach will result in “an unfair advantage” for Whole Foods.
“Wholesales and Whipsale Organic are two of the biggest retailers in Australia and we know consumers want to be able to make informed buying decisions,” Whole Foods CEO and co-founder Richard Robb said.
In January, Wholesalers launched a petition asking the ACCCC to reconsider the ACCCs current approach.
“[Wholesaler] wants to be seen as a market leader in Australia, not a third-party,” he said.
“Whole Foods has been clear for years that we are the market leader, so the ACC C&C should be looking at our own case.”
Wholesaler’s move to create its own organic market has been backed by Whole Foods Australia, which is now the largest wholesale marketer of organic groceries in Australia.
Its move comes after Whole Foods’ competitors started to follow suit, including Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Pharmacy.
It also follows the launch of a new organic food chain in 2018.
More:Wholesallyers organic supermarket was created in April 2018 and aims to offer its customers more choice and greater variety, including the possibility to choose from a wide range of organic products.
Wholesallers’ organic supermarket comes in four different varieties, with the best organic products available from Whole Foods, Whole Foods Markets, Whipsalers and Whoresellers.
While it’s unclear how many customers Whole Foods will reach with its organic supermarket, Robb said it’s expected to be “over 100 million” over the next five years.
He said he hopes the ACCc will reconsider the current ACCC approach, which he believes has resulted from the ACC being “weak on the issues of competition, and the lack of an antitrust regulator”.
“If the ACC was serious about antitrust, it would be pursuing its own cases,” he told 7.30.
However, he said the ACC could also look at whether its current regulatory framework, which allows companies to self-regulate, is “unnecessary”.
“Whatsallers is going to take it very seriously, so we will be working with Wholesaller on that, but the ACC is going in and saying, ‘No, no, no’,” he said, adding the ACC has the power to “prohibit the entry of third parties”.
Whole Food has also been given a “limited” scope by the ACC to provide organic groceries to shoppers, and said it expects to provide at least half of its organic products to supermarkets.
Meanwhile, Whopsalers Organic is being allowed to offer “organic” products to its customers, including organic apples, organic carrots, organic onions and organic tomatoes.
Both companies said they are also looking at opening organic supermarket stores in Victoria.