Coles has come under fire for its ‘unnecessary’ virtue signalling after the supermarket giant was criticised by indigenous leaders for printing an ‘Acknowledgment of Country’ statement on its shopping receipts.

The move is part of a growing trend as corporations look to stamp progressive values in a bid to win over woke suburban customers.

But the decision backfired after aboriginal leaders slammed the marketing stunt.

Wurundjeri elder Ian Hunter said that using the Acknowledgement of Country on its receipts missed the mark and was “unnecessary”.

The Acknowledgement of Country shouldn’t be taken lightly … I’m getting fed up with this, it’s a real overreach,” he told the Herald Sun.

For it to have more meaning it would be better for Coles to localise the message on receipts for specific areas, for example, Coles in Darebin could acknowledge the Woiwurrung people.” 

Commenters online were quick to criticise the move, with some suggesting that if the company wanted to make a real difference in aboriginal communities, it could easily invest some of the huge profits it scored from Australians during the pandemic.

The statement printed to Coles receipts, reads:

“Coles Group acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We recognise their strength and pay our respects to Elders, past, present and emerging. Coles Group extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and recognise their rich cultures and consulting connection to land and waters.”

In recent years, the Acknowledgement of Country has become a regular fixture at Australian sporting events and public ceremonies, usually with significant reverence and support in the presence of indigenous elders.

The Coles receipt move comes just days after TV shows The Block and The Masked Singer made the decision to air the Acknowledgement of Country at the start of programming.

 





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