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Remote store operator Community Enterprise Queensland (CEQ) is delighted to announce it has entered a partnership agreement with Australian Grocery Wholesalers (AGW), a wholesale business within Woolworths Group.

Under the agreement, AGW brings Woolworths products to CEQ’s extensive network of remote stores across Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait, and on Palm Island.

CEQ Chief Executive Officer Michael Dykes said customers have already been praising the products now available in CEQ stores under the Woolworths banner.

“The feedback we’ve had so far on the new range has been encouraging,” said Mr Dykes.

“Serving remote local communities is very different from the locations that Woolworths primarily operate in.

“Our customers do not have the opportunity to go to the next store if we have items that are not available.

“Before embarking on this bold change, we needed to ensure the partnership with AGW recognised this difference and that we had a shared understanding on the importance of consistent supply to our community stores.

“We see this as the start of an exciting partnership that will bring further benefits to our customers across Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait.”

AGW will utilise Australia’s largest food and grocery supply chain network to underpin the safety and continuity of food supply in these remote communities.

Shaun Burton, General Manager, Woolworths Wholesale, said: “At Australian Grocery Wholesalers, we are focused on delivering convenient, end to end, tailored wholesale solutions to our partners across all sectors.

“CEQ is a leader in delivering quality retail and essential services within Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities, and AGW is all about sourcing and merchandising Australia’s very best fresh food and groceries for customers.

“Drawing on our respective strengths, we’re confident our partnership will help deliver a better food and grocery shopping experience for Far North Queensland and Torres Strait communities.

“In doing so, we also hope to have a positive impact on health outcomes and contribute to closing the relevant gaps in this space.”

As part of the agreement, AGW is assisting CEQ’s remote store teams with retail training via coaching and mentoring, as well as online support from Woolworths Food Academy.

While this is Woolworths Group’s first commercial arrangement into remote communities, the company has supported supply and food relief to impacted remote communities during severe weather events and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to servicing CEQ, AGW supports several Woolworths Group partners, Food Bank and Ampol.

CEQ is a not-for-profit organisation responsible for providing goods and essential services to the Torres Strait, Northern Peninsula Area (NPA), mainland Aboriginal remote communities, and Palm Island through its 28 stores.

CEQ’s Store Support Office is based in Cairns, and manages Islanders Board of Industry and Service (IBIS) and Aboriginal Business, Industry and Service (ABIS) mainland stores, as well as other stores including Col Jones and Mitre 10 on Thursday Island.

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