Woolworths’ decision on iconic ANZAC Day tradition leaves veterans outraged: ‘It’s common courtesy’

ANZAC Day is a time of remembrance and respect when Australians and New Zealanders honour the sacrifices of those who have served and continue to serve in our armed forces.

It's a day steeped in tradition, and one of those traditions has been the availability of special ANZAC biscuit tins sold through various retailers, with a portion of the proceeds going to support veterans and their families.

However, this year, Woolworths has made the controversial decision not to stock these commemorative tins, and the backlash from the veteran community has been swift and severe.

The Bakers Finest RSL ANZAC biscuit tins, which feature alternative designs commemorating different wars and conflicts, have become collectors' items over the years.

They are more than just a sweet treat; they symbolise support and remembrance, with profits aiding the Returned and Services League (RSL) in its mission to assist veterans.

Veterans sparked outrage when Woolworths decided not to stock the limited-edition ANZAC biscuit tins. Credit: RSL Australia

Woolworths' choice to exclude these tins from their shelves this year has been met with disappointment and anger from those who hold the tradition dear.

World War II veteran Jack Bartlett, a former Chief Petty Officer on Her Majesty’s Australian Ship (HMAS) Manoora, expressed his dismay at the decision.

At 100 years old, Bartlett's connection to ANZAC Day is deeply personal.

'I collect those tins and value them greatly because of my association. I'm very, very sorry to hear that Woolworths won't do it (sell them),' he said in an interview with 2GB's Ben Fordham.

'It's such a small thing for such a big shopping conglomerate to do. I don't think it's very, very much to ask them to continue what they've done for some time.’

‘In January 1942, I, along with thousands of young men, took up arms to defend this country with one thought in mind: to live our way of life,' he added.

'We fought and won, and I think that it is only common courtesy to ask the leaders of our industry to support us in our hour of need.'

The move by Woolworths is particularly puzzling given that the supermarket chain sells ANZAC biscuits year-round and is the exclusive retailer of ANZAC Appeal badges in the country.

This inconsistency has not gone unnoticed, with One Nation leader Pauline Hanson voicing her continued boycott of Woolworths following their earlier decision to stop selling Australia Day merchandise.

'If Woolworths isn't interested in celebrating Australia and doing everything it can to support our veterans through organisations like the RSL, then I'm proud to continue to boycott Woolworths,' she encouraged others to follow suit.

In response to the outcry, a Woolworths spokesperson highlighted the company's track record of supporting Anzac-associated appeals, with almost $13 million raised over the last decade.

‘Our teams nationwide are pleased to again be proudly supporting this year's ANZAC Appeal as we're the only supermarket to stock the appeal's badges with all funds for sales going to the RSL,' the spokesperson said.

'We sell Bakers Finest ANZAC biscuits in our stores all year round, this product is endorsed by the RSL and generates revenue for the RSL to support veterans and their families.'

Despite these efforts, the decision not to stock the special ANZAC biscuit tins has struck a chord with many Australians who see it as a missed opportunity to show support for a revered tradition.

RSL Victoria, which manages the partnership with Woolworths, confirmed that the supermarket would be stocking ANZAC Appeal badges soon.

'The RSL and Woolworths have an ongoing and valued partnership, providing ongoing support to veterans and their families across Australia,' the spokesperson said.

'Over the last ten years, Woolworths has raised more than $13 million during both our ANZAC and Poppy Appeals by making badges available for purchase in stores, providing direct and crucial support to the veteran community nationwide.’

'This support continues in 2024, with Woolworths once again stocking ANZAC and Poppy Appeal badges for purchase.'
Key Takeaways
  • Woolworths has decided not to stock RSL Australia's special limited-edition ANZAC biscuit tins this year, a move that has upset veterans and others who see the tins as a tradition and collector's item.
  • A portion of the profits from selling these tins is donated to the RSL to aid veterans and their families, highlighting the significance of the decision.
  • Criticism has come from WWII veteran Jack Bartlett and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, expressing disappointment and advocating for alternatives to support veterans.
  • Despite the controversy, Woolworths continues to sell ANZAC biscuits year-round and remains the exclusive supermarket seller of ANZAC Appeal badges, with a Woolworths spokesperson highlighting the company's significant contributions to veteran-related appeals over the past decade.
What are your thoughts on Woolworths' decision not to stock the ANZAC biscuit tins this year? Share your views in the comments below.
Go and buy the badges and nothing else so the RSL still get the donation. Let's see how serious they are about supporting the RSL, I wonder if Woolworths will only sell the badges if you buy something...........
Ithink that they should still be stocking and selling the special tins as they have done for years.
It is a Great pity that Woolworth management have taken this stand against the Australian public, But what can expect from a Foren Owen Company.
$13 million in ten years is a pittance compared to their profits in ten years. Haven't shopped in Woolies for years, don't intend to.
Why not keep stocking them for those that collect them, like them and benefit from them? I have bought many over the years. I also support the Returned Soldiers and have been doing so for over 35 years paying $30 monthly. If I, an aged pensioner, can show support, why can't a big Supermarket like Woolworths? Disgraceful! Next thing you know all the Christmas Cards in Woolworths will be saying "Happy Holidays" rather than Happy Christmas. Political correctness gone mad.
  • Like
Reactions: Melinda Yeaman
Ithink that they should still be stocking and selling the special tins as they have done for years.
It is a Great pity that Woolworth management have taken this stand against the Australian public, But what can expect from a Foren Owen Company.
Woolworths is NOT foreign owned. The number of people who believe this myth is amazing.
  • Like
Reactions: Mrs Robyn
SHAME on you Woolies. These are spectacular tins that depict our country's brave Soldiers and the history of our Nation. Any funds raised for our wonderful RSL help our returned Veteran's and their families in a myriad of ways. I have seen this first hand and know what great work they do. Please reconsider stocking these tins.
Woollies can sell items for Chinese New Year but can't be bothered with supporting Anzac Day. I suppose that is another reason I don't shop at Woollies. Shame on you.
This is the last straw. ANZAC is not just a tradition, IT IS AUSTRALIA!!! I know I am only one person but I will no longer be shopping at woolworths or Big W. Coles will be my go to store now. One dripping tap is all it takes......
Woolworths are only interested in what’s good for THEM 😡😡
Woolworths feign community-minded spirit but their actions clearly demonstrate their continued selfish, self-centred mindset.
ACTION speaks louder than words.
Woolworths have lost me.
Who the hell is the idiot making these anti Australia decisions?
I didn't think it a big deal not selling Australia day merchandise because it's all made in China. But I'm going to have to steer clear of them now. What a rude and deeply ungrateful snub. Unfortunately I only have Coles as my other choice.
I only have Coles as a second choice too. Coles are no better than Woolworths… they too feign community-minded spirit when in fact all they’re interested in is shareholder profits. They’ve been ripping off Australian shoppers since time immemorial. We need COMPETITION in the supermarket arena!!!
Obviously Woolworths are tone deaf, you would think they would have learned from the Australia Day debacle.. well obviously not, to not honour the ANZAC veterans by continuing on with this tradition is just a disgrace, how hard is it to stock these collector tins at ANZAC Day, another reason to give Woolworths a wide birth, Australians honour our veterans but obviously Woolworths find it hard to hold this tradition in their hearts. 🇦🇺❤️

It possibly because when we buy the anzac tins $ goes to RSL not to woollies
After Woolworths not stocking Australia Day merchandise it is treading on very thin ice with this Anzac Day decision.
I no longer shop at Woolworths.
I can honestly say that I have never seen these in the supermarkets I go to. When I talked to others about the so-called 'controversy' none of them had ever bought tins of ANZAC cookies and most hadn't seen them in stores. Most make their own Anzac cookies or buy them in the Bakery section year round so wouldn't buy the tins, which they say would end up in landfill anyway.
If stores make a decision to not stock a product because it doesn't sell that is just good business practice.
Anzac biscuits don't sell ?
Tell you what, they will this year thanks to Woolworths. Çoles, IGA, etc can start smiling.
Woolworths supermarkets devote a whole aisle to some dipshit commercial crud called Halloween! But dismiss Australia Day and ANZAC Day for some obscure reason. Go figure.

Might visit Woolworths today and put an armful of pork leg roasts into the display section for Halal meats.

For shits and giggles....
  • Haha
Reactions: Mrs Robyn
Ithink that they should still be stocking and selling the special tins as they have done for years.
It is a Great pity that Woolworth management have taken this stand against the Australian public, But what can expect from a Foren Owen Company.
Woolworths stores in Australia are Australian owned not foreign owned and they are not owned by sth Africa get your facts straight.😊
  • Like
Reactions: Veggiepatch
It appears that Woolworths is now not stocking and promoting the days that are applicable to our Australian history. I am disappointed that they will not be selling the ANZAC Day tins of biscuits as I have been buying these tins each year to collect as well as support our RSL Australia. As a veteran myself, I feel that Woolworths is becoming more and more un-Australian and is nowadays supporting and promoting all of our culture's special calendar days and no longer Australia's. I'm sure our ANZACs would be thoroughly disappointed and rolling in their graves with what is going on in our country today as well as asking "what happened to our great country we fought to protect? Where has it gone?":(

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