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Coles Australia supermarkets set to replace in-house butchers with pre-packaged meats

The massive change coming to Coles supermarkets from Sunday leaving thousands disappointed

  • Coles is set to replace in-house butchers with pre-packaged meats from Sunday
  • From Sunday, shoppers will no longer have the option to buy fresh cuts of meat
  • Dozens of butchers and meat workers will be deployed or made redundant 
  • The decision to end in-store butcher services was made in late August


Supermarket giant Coles has announced it’s set to replace its in-house butchers with pre-packaged meats in a major shake-up.

From Sunday, October 10, shoppers will no longer have the option to buy fresh cuts of meat from counters in stores across Australia.

Dozens of butchers and meat workers will be deployed or made redundant after the decision to end in-store butcher services was made in late August.

Supermarket giant Coles has announced it’s set to replace its in-house butchers with pre-packaged meats in a major shake-up (file image)

‘In June we let our meat team members know we were considering a proposal to align our meat operating models nationally in our stores, so that we can consistently deliver high quality retail-ready meat for our customers whenever they want to shop,’ a Coles spokesperson told ABC Radio Brisbane.

‘Following a period of consultation with affected meat team members as well as their union representatives, a decision was made to proceed with the proposal in late August.’

About one per cent of Coles 120,000 workers are employed in the meat department.

In July, Coles said the restructure of its meat department was to meet the demands of customers.

From Sunday, October 10, shoppers will no longer have the option to buy fresh cuts of meat from counters in stores across Australia (file image)

From Sunday, October 10, shoppers will no longer have the option to buy fresh cuts of meat from counters in stores across Australia (file image)

‘We are considering a proposal to align our meat operating models nationally in our stores, so that we can consistently deliver high quality retail-ready meat for our customers whenever they want to shop,’ the Coles spokesperson said at the time.

‘Under the proposal, our fresh meat range would be supplied to stores as retail-ready products and would not require any preparation to be carried out in-store before being placed on the shelves of our meat fridges for customers to buy.’ 

Woolworths made a similar move in 2018 to stop processing beef, chicken and pork in-store in favour of pre-cut and pre-packaged meat. 

At the time, the supermarket chain said the switch was to help improve on-self availability, quality and range.



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