Julie Quinton's first Blog.

So I've decided to start a blog to communicate to our customers, our community and to whoever is interested in reading it. I will use this Quinton's Page to do so and I hope you enjoy some of the content along the way.

So for those of you who don't know, I'll give you a quick background on our Business. Quinton's is a family owned independent supermarket and we focus very heavily on supporting Australian farmers and manufacturing. The reason I am so passionate about supporting Australian is because I have seen the decline and/or disappearance of many well known and loved Australian Brands since the early '80s when my own kids were little and I began shopping for my growing family.

Australia has very high food standards, some of the best water in the World and some of the best produce in the World. I have never taken short cuts when it came to the quality of the food I put on the dinner table for my family. I have always read labels and have always bought the 'Product of Australia' item over the cheaper import.

I have always been a very frugal shopper. I, like many of you, have had to watch every cent in my families tight budget over the years. We struggled financially for many years to make ends meet on one wage whilst paying a mortgage when interest rates soared as high as 19% during the '80's. Times were tough but they taught me a lot about budgeting and how to stretch healthy meals to go further for my family. So I do understand how difficult it is for families to make ends meet.

What I did learn during those years was the bag of apples which were often half the price per kilo than the loose variety were not always the best option to save money.. I learnt very quickly that I would throw out the majority and would have actually saved money by paying a little bit more and buying a better quality product that my family could have eaten. This is why I now insist on first quality fresh produce for our store!

Experience teaches us a lot and my experiences have helped shape the direction I am taking our Business. I see what is happening on a weekly basis. Rarely a week goes by when we don't see products disappearing from our shelves due to Businesses going broke. The overheads of running any Business are soaring and the big chains, Coles and Woolies, are reducing their product range to best maximise dollars in the bank for them. This means so many mum and dad manufacturers now have limited outlets for their products. Coles and Woolies control 80% of the supermarket industry in Australia. Their market share is growing by the day as they try to snuff out their competition - like the family owned IGA's.

What this means to the consumer is higher grocery pricing in the future because the duopoly will have full control and will put whatever pricing they like on products with no choice for the consumer in regards to product range. Consumers will only be able to buy what the duopoly decide you can buy. If they can buy tinned tomatoes cheaper from Thailand, for example, then that's the choice you will have.

Manufacturing costs are obviously higher in this country due to our wage costs and high standards. However, by buying Australian; you help to support Australian families and Australian jobs. The cost to Australia in the long run will be much higher if we don't continue to buy Australian.

Most importantly, I don't want inferior products from countries with lesser food safety standards on my family's dinner plate.

Until my next session on the soap box... Julie Quinton

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