SUPERMARKET giant Woolworths will enlist the help of agronomists to select fresh produce.
The expertise will also help the company choose suppliers in prime growing states Victoria and Queensland.
Woolworths last month advertised for positions at Mulgrave in Melbourne and Larapinta in Brisbane.
Successful applicants will "work alongside the produce buying and quality teams, and collaborate with suppliers and industry groups to identify profitability and sustainability opportunities within farming systems", its advertisement said.
Woolworths hired its first agronomist, Ben Gudex, in NSW 12 months ago.
But the move has caused some anger within industry circles.
"Woolworths is completely disengaged with industry and who knows what they're doing with these agronomists," Ausveg spokesman William Churchill said.
Growers who do not employ agronomists fear Woolworths agronomists could drive down supplier prices and tell them what to grow and how to grow it.
But Woolworths spokeswoman Kristen Young said the supermarket did not dictate to its growers.
Coles also has a "quality team" featuring a range of specialists, including food scientists, dieticians, agronomists and horticulture technologists.