Following Tuesday’s report that Coles will be selling hormone-free beef, Coles spokesperson Jim Cooper explained to Retailbiz that the change has been made due to an increasing demand from customers wanting to know the origin of their products.

“About 40 percent of all beef are injected with hormone growth promotant (HGP) and we’ve been discussing with our beef suppliers for the last 18 months to have all our beef HGP-free by January next year,” Cooper said.

Highly aware that re-creating a supply chain that is HGP-free can be expensive, Coles has also committed to absorbing any additional production costs involved.

“We’ve said to our beef suppliers that we understand doing away with a new supply chain will increase product costs but we will work together and properly compensate for it,” he said.

“We’re also making a commitment that our on the shelf prices will remain the same.

“The key is making the move to ensure neither beef suppliers nor are our customers going to be financially disadvantaged.”

Cooper also noted that despite the increase costs, it will not affect Coles financially.

“It’s still a reasonable investment and we hope that wearing those extra costs will be offset by the increasing productivity in the beef supply chain.”