Woolworths organic food scam

Woolworths are running a huge scam selling fake organic food under their Macro brand. I have previously written about Woolworths involvement in selling fake organic honey but the current investigation shows it goes way past that, including, but not limited to, fake organic food such as Apple Cider Vinegar, Virgin Coconut Oil, Tri Colour Quinoa (high protein edible seeds) and Cacao Nibs (pure form of chocolate).

I filmed the below video at Woolworths over the last 2 days (22 and 23 June). It’s titled “Woolworths Organic Food Scam”.

The organic food scam being run by Woolworths is not uncommon and is in fact a global problem as the recent Netflix series “Rotten” pointed out:

Local farming is fading as profit margins decide what food makes it to our plates. The new Netflix documentary series Rotten exposes the fraud, corruption, and the consequences on our health of today’s global food industry. Nobody’s hands are clean. (Click here to watch the trailer)

Below is a picture of Woolworths Macro Honey and you will see in the bottom right hand corner the Australian Certified Organic Cert No. 472. In my last article on this topic I pointed out that both Allowrie Honey, which is owned by Capilano Honey, and Aldi Honey have the same certification number, 472, which shows Capilano produce it for Aldi as well.

We now know that all 3 have the Cert. No. 472 so all 3 are made by Capilano Honey which they mainly use imported Chinese honey to produce Allowrie, Aldi’s honey and Woolworths Macro honey.

I wrote the below email to Woolworths asking them questions about the testing and quality of the Macro brand foods and they have so far refused to reply. While Woolworths refusal to answer the questions is very disturbing it is consistent with Capilano Honey and Australian Certified Organic also refusing to answer similar types of questions in the March 2017 article on the same topic titledWoolworths, Coles and Aldi running a scam selling imported food as organicwhich focused on honey.

From: SHANE DOWLING <shanedowling@hotmail.com></shanedowling@hotmail.com>
Sent: 21 June 2018 14:03
To: media@woolworths.com.au
Subject: Media questions – Woolworths brand Macro – Organic Food

Dear Sir/Madam

I have some questions in relation to an article I am writing:

The Woolworths brand Macro honey says on the bottle it is 100% organic and has an Australian Certified Organic stamp and certificate no 472 on it. It also says on the bottle that is packed in Australia from local and imported products.

  1. Can you please advise what percentage is Australian Honey and what percentage is overseas honey?
  2. Can you please advise what country / countries the imported honey comes from?
  3. Can you please supply the evidence that the honey is organic?
  4. How do you know the imported honey is organic?
  5. Is the honey tested for pesticides and/or herbicides?
  6. Does Capilano Honey produce the Macro brand honey for Woolworths?

Are Woolworths aware that Capilano Honey are currently suing beekeeper Simon Mulvany and myself, Shane Dowling, for injurious falsehood regarding the quality of Capilano’s brands such as Allowrie honey?

  1. If Woolworths are aware of the lawsuits are Woolworths aware that Capilano Honey have failed for over 2 years to file and serve in court relevant documents proving their honey is safe even though they have a legal obligation to do so to prove their claim?
  2. Are Woolworths aware that Capilano’s number one shareholder Kerry Stokes has on the Channel Seven Today Tonight website, of which he is also the number one shareholder, broadcasts that say Capilano Honey sell polluted and poisonous honey?

Woolworths also sell under the Macro brand Organic Virgin Coconut Oil which has an Australian Certified Organic stamp and certificate no 10908 on it and says on the bottle it is a product of Sri Lanka.

  1. What evidence does Woolworths have that the Virgin Coconut Oil is organic?
  2. Is the Virgin Coconut Oil tested for pesticides and/or herbicides?

Woolworths also sell under the Macro brand Organic Virgin Coconut Oil which has an Australian Certified Organic stamp and certificate no 10908 on it and says on the bottle it is a product of the Philippines.

  1. What evidence does Woolworths have that the Virgin Coconut Oil is organic?
  2. Is the Virgin Coconut Oil tested for pesticides and/or herbicides?

Woolworths also sell under the Macro brand Organic Tri Colour Quinoa (high protein seeds) which has an Australian Certified Organic stamp and certificate no 476 on it and says on the bottle it is grown in Bolivia and packed in Australia.

  1. What evidence does Woolworths have that the Tri Colour Quinoa is organic?
  2. Is the Tri Colour Quinoa tested for pesticides and/or herbicides?

Can you please respond by 5pm Friday the 22nd of June 2018.

Regards

Shane Dowling

I am still waiting on a reply from Woolworths and will update this article if I get one soon.

I have only scratched the surface and need to do a full investigation into Woolworths but I know Capilano Honey are very concerned regarding any criticism of Woolworths stocking their fake organic Allowrie Honey. So it goes without saying that they will be very concerned that it is now exposed that Capilano Honey are also producing Woolworths fake Macro organic honey. I will do a follow-up article on Woolworths soon.

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31 Comments on “Woolworths organic food scam”

  1. Anna Bertalli June 24, 2018 at 1:21 am #

    Omg no wonder they haven’t replied!!! I’m sure they’re pretending the letter never happened, and indeed that you never speak of that again!! Bloody Nora, if we all just had enough guts, or time, or whatever to pen such an articulate letter, they’d have to bloody listen…..after denying any wrongdoing I’m sure!!

  2. Daphne June 24, 2018 at 5:50 am #

    My husband used to work for Woolworths. The staff always said nobody defrosts like a fresh food person. To our dismay the so called fresh pizzas made instore, only got a date sticker put on it when it was going out on display. The pizza could be days old (if not older) and was labelled “fresh”. Nothing would surprise me about this company!

  3. Jennifer Hodges June 24, 2018 at 5:55 am #

    Definitely doesn’t sound good. Thanks for looking into this!

  4. Blackswan June 24, 2018 at 7:00 am #

    Food retailing is one of the biggest criminal racketeering industries ever devised. We’ve seen manufacturers heavily fined for ‘false advertising’ in making unfounded claims of health benefits for various products, but we never see similar legal action taken for false claims such as this ‘organics’ scam.

    Why not?

    Chemical/pesticide contamination can have serious health implications for consumers allergic to such pollutants, so the consequences for this deception can be dire. When you add the cumulative effects of various chemical additives in a person’s diet you can end up with chemical compounds nobody even has a name for, let alone test for the carcinogenic effects of them.

    The supermarket conglomerates don’t give a toss … the entire impetus for them is profit.

    I’ve bought generic brands for years; after all, nobody thinks Woolies and Coles have suddenly built their own food factories … the generics are largely manufactured by the big ‘brand’ names … a nice little sideline for everyone.

    Companies such as Kraft or Lever & Kitchen began creating their own competition almost a hundred years ago … different brands of laundry powder all from the same factory gave them dominance over supermarket shelf space, crowding out their true competition.

    That success has become the norm for the entire industry. Capilano is a prime example. They’ll do “whatever it takes” to persuade busy consumers to reach for that familiar “trusted” brand from the shelf.

    It’s only by being savvy consumers, supporting small local food manufacturers and paying a little extra for it, that we can thwart the big Industry Conglomerates and be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies.

    “But nobody has the time for all that” we hear people say. I say “Make the time” or we may not live long enough to regret it.

    Thanks for your work on this issue – it’s more valuable than people know.

  5. Cindy NINNIS June 24, 2018 at 7:03 am #

    I think its disgustong what theybare doing …. these supermarkets think they can get away with anything! I hope your investgations are successful and I’m behind you 100%!

  6. JG Mcneil June 24, 2018 at 9:34 am #

    Aldi is a surprise …i buy their Bramwell brand; no more back to the corner shop for me. Trust none.

    • Blackswan June 24, 2018 at 10:59 am #

      Since Aldi arrived in Australia in 2001 they have changed the retail model Woollies and Coles traditionally used, reducing the number of products on offer and putting a lot of small operators out of business, as their supply contracts became leaner and more aggressive.

      It’s local manufacturers who bear the losses in cheap retail prices, not the supermarkets, whose profits rise year by year. Sadly, often your corner shop can only afford to stock the big brands because that’s what customers recognise. Sometimes specialty delicatessens are the only place you’ll find obscure local product, but it’s worth taking the time.

      The thing is, if everyone with a computer spent as much time researching suppliers and stockists in our local food industry as they do glued to Farcebook and their Twitter feeds, then we could better support our local manufacturers, growers and dairy producers.

      An email to any local supplier asking for your nearest stockist is worth doing, or even shop online and have products delivered to your door.

      It’s Consumers who get to decide how to spend our discretionary dollar – it’s up to us to decide who profits from it.

      In my household it will NEVER be fraudsters like Capilano, in ANY of their guises.

  7. Jonde June 24, 2018 at 10:36 am #

    Good job, too many consumers are lackadaisical when buying food. Organic is a con, as is ‘Use By’ or ‘Best Before’ dates, brainwashing by organic bull-s**t..
    An acquaintance took a part-used block of cheese from the ‘fridge and was ready to throw it in the rubbish bin because it was two days past the ‘date’.
    I told him that the use by date was ridiculous because the cheese would have spent many months or years on a shelf in the cheese producer’s premises.

  8. saxon June 24, 2018 at 11:23 am #

    Organic is just a word used to sell the same product at a higher price.

    • Benjamin Jenkins July 16, 2018 at 10:36 pm #

      Not always. I buy organic apples from woolies when they’re available and you can truly taste the difference compared with the non organic variety, same for woolies organic potatoes.

      I don’t know if a single honey brand in woolies or Coles that is good quality. Coles used to sell a good raw honey years ago but no longer. Luckily there is plenty of good honey available else where.

  9. helentastard June 24, 2018 at 11:25 am #

      Thank you. I previously thought that the Macro brand was genuine. HT   

  10. Jennifer Rawlings June 24, 2018 at 12:39 pm #

    Well done. It’s garbage that Woolworths can get away with this? I did research into Aldi selling lamb shanks in marinade and they were not from here at all; in fact there was no information as to where the meat came from? Heavily marinaded and packed in New Zealand? Sold as Australian lamb shanks

  11. freddirh June 24, 2018 at 1:41 pm #

    We have given all these brands of honey away and will only look at locally produced honey from Farmer jacks who support the local producers and clearly show the location of the hives ie 6017 etc.

  12. Chris Wilding June 24, 2018 at 4:30 pm #

    I used to buy the Macro rolled oats, until I vomited after eating. At first I didn’t suspect the oats as the culprit – who would? How dangerous can oats be? But after eating them a second time and vomiting again shortly after eating, I realised that the oats were poisoned with something. I have never had such a reaction before or since, but I no longer buy the Macro brand of oats. Are there any other products by Macro we should be careful of? I usually buy some of their nuts. Please advise.

    • N.O.T Fooled Jnr June 27, 2018 at 12:36 pm #

      Macro the original was owned by a most honourable man with a retail outlet at Bondi Junction and Newtown NSW. The products were genuine he was taken over by some retail nob and now it is Woolworths. He would be ashamed to be associated with this blatant fraud.

  13. Pixie Seymour June 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm #

    Filthy scumbags!! I have bought that honey for a while now…not anymore. I have a friend that makes honey but it’s a bit of a pain to get there BUT I WILL be making the effort to do so now.

    Thank you very much for your investigations, ALL of them.

  14. N.O.T Fooled Jnr June 24, 2018 at 6:14 pm #

    Whom or what government department grants supermarkets and unabashed liars the right to have the Organic Stamp placed upon their inferior product ? It appears the answer it is similar to the Halal Certification ” whoever pays “

  15. metadatalata June 24, 2018 at 6:55 pm #

    It is clear that our system of governance and the authorities that they have put in place to ‘protect’ Australians against fraud in governmental, legal, financial and corporate greed is all broken. Everyone is in on the lies. We need a new system of governance that starts fresh. A gradual change is never going to happen because there is just too much vested greed. We need a revolution of progressive decision-making that avoids the corruption that is rampant in our society.

  16. Sam June 24, 2018 at 7:57 pm #

    Coles also sell organic chicken that is fed with GMO and local corn mixed

  17. Sam June 24, 2018 at 8:01 pm #

    There is also a lot of Australian GMO wheat and soy mixed in our foods, and GMO potatoes are being produced with no labeling.

  18. Sam the man June 26, 2018 at 5:11 pm #

    Why not include a draft email to any of the crooked companies or supernmarkets & put it on your KCA site include an email address so that all your subscribers can email to the transgressors.
    I’m not sure that one letter from you, Shane at KCA will initiate a response, but hundreds or even thousands of emails from consumers will definitely get some action.
    Also, can you please relist all the honey brand names that Capilano put out so that we can ensure we don’t buy them & their product sales drop off dramatically. Maybe that will
    also get some action.

    • freddirh June 27, 2018 at 11:35 am #

      Allowrie honey Capilano honey and Aldi honey it seems come from the one provider and we will not buy them as both Allowrie and Capilano are on sales at Coles Warwick WA at discounted prices , I suggest to clear out maybe!!!!

  19. Tracy Livingston June 26, 2018 at 6:41 pm #

    We get Macro in NZ in Countdown which i think is the same as your Woolies. had been buying the pasta but not any more. It always just seemed too cheap to be the real deal.

  20. Heather June 27, 2018 at 1:04 am #

    What about their organic Macro veggies is that real or another scam?

  21. N.O.T Fooled Jnr June 27, 2018 at 12:31 pm #

    Do Not Let Up on the bastards ! Money does not bring with it ” class” nor “morals” least of all honesty.

  22. Philippe June 28, 2018 at 8:40 pm #

    It is very suspicious if they don’t reply to you !
    I use to buy organic from Woolworth, including that particularly brand, thanks for opening my eyes, I naively thought we could trust them but t it doesn’t looks like it is the case! This is absolutely unacceptable! Thank you!

  23. GB July 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm #

    IGA and the various independent supermarkets they supply are selling Allowrie Honey. For example, this supermarket chain in Queensland and South Australia:

    https://074.drakes.com.au/?utf8=✓&q=Allowrie

  24. freddieh July 5, 2018 at 5:25 pm #

    coles here in Perth were discounting these products are cheap prices ,I suspect to clear their stocks.
    I will only buy local honey products from local IGA store .

  25. Mike Thompson July 23, 2018 at 10:53 pm #

    Unfortunately the whole “Organic” marketing is a shame!
    I have been a Registered Organic Grower for some 20 odd years and what I see now in the shops – especially the supermarket chains are a shame!
    I have asked my own registering association how can a product with inputs from China, Argentina, India, Europe etc. be allowed to be marketed here in Australia as “organic”. The reply is always the same – “as long as they have a piece of paper stating they have been audited by an Organic Certifying body then it is ok. That piece of paper can be false – as many are – so what? It is all about the paper trail and it covers the certifying body here in Australia’s backside!
    Even the “Farmers Markets” are a shame – how many farmers markets in Australia only allow actual “Registered Organic Growers” and not all the variations like “Grown Organically” etc.
    It has become such a laughing stock to me so much so I am now audited by an independent certifier and am not affiliated to any Association.
    And don’t get me started on “Organic Honey” – that is a complete falsehood – how can you stop the bees harvesting from a “Non Organic” property? Bees are foragers and travel up to five kilometres to get the nectar so any area that is not registered within that 5 kilometre radius can not be called “Organic”!
    PS I actually have approximately 40 odd beehives and have never and will never call my honey “Organic” although they live on an organic registered farm. You see I am one of the few honest ones around.

    • Blackswan July 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm #

      All credit to you for honouring your principles.

      Sadly for consumers, these ‘associations’ no longer have an iota of credibility for me, not since they started giving accreditation to anyone who’ll pay the extortionate fees they charge for the so-called endorsement of quality.

      The Heart/Kidney/Asthma Foundations – they’re all the same. Just like the Halal Certification Scam and your example of dodgy imported ingredient scam – if they pay the extortionate sums demanded by the ‘association’ – who cares?

      After all, it’s about the ‘bottom line’ these days … Profit before Principle every time.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Coles starts Australian made honey war against Woolworths and Capilano’s imported Chinese honey | Kangaroo Court of Australia - July 7, 2018

    […] I didn’t send any questions to Woolworths and Capilano Honey as they never answer my questions. […]

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