Farming that is better together

Investing in Farmers

We are committed to building strong and multi-generational, collaborative relationships with Australian farmers, producers and suppliers. Their hard work and dedication enables us to provide high-quality products to our customers.

Coles is proud to partner with our Australian fresh produce growers to provide our customers with great quality Australian fruit and vegetables and we are committed to doing so wherever possible.

Coles supermarkets has an Australian-first sourcing policy to provide our customers with quality Australian-grown fresh produce as a first priority. We are proud to partner with our Australian fresh produce growers to provide our customers with great quality Australian fruit and vegetables.

There are some situations where fresh produce cannot be sourced from Australia, and we will continue to work closely with our growers to try and find solutions to these challenges.

We comply with country-of-origin labelling requirements which makes it easier for customers to identify where a product is from.

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Safeguaring animal welfare

Coles cares about how our food is produced and sourced and we are committed to working with local farmers and food producers over the long term, while also looking after the welfare of animals through programs such as the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme.

Our Animal Welfare PolicyOpens in new window sets out Coles’ expectations regarding the treatment of animals in our global supply chains for Coles Own Brand products.

This Policy is based on the Five Freedoms framework to address the welfare of farmed animals by minimising negative experiences.

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst;
  • Freedom from discomfort;
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease;
  • Freedom to express normal behaviour; and
  • Freedom from fear and distress.

Coles recognises that all farmed animals are sentient beings. We acknowledge the Five Domains1 as a model to assist in informing this Policy, with the objective of enabling animals to lead a ‘life worth living’2 within productive livestock systems.

We offer our customers the broadest range of RSPCA Approved products of any major Australian supermarket, including:

  • All Coles Own Brand fresh RSPCA Approved chicken and fresh free-range RSPCA Approved chicken3;
  • All Coles Own Brand fresh RSPCA Approved turkey and fresh free-range RSPCA Approved turkey4;
  • All Coles Own Brand fresh free-range RSPCA Approved pork.

Coles was the first major Australian supermarket to deliver a number of Coles Own Brand products with higher animal welfare standards in mind, including:

  • All Coles Own Brand fresh beef with no added hormones;
  • All Coles Own Brand shell eggs cage-free;
  • All Coles Own Brand fresh pork, ham and bacon sow stall-free and produced without artificial growth promotants;
  • Coles Own Brand fresh whole duck farmed responsibly.

Coles was the first major supermarket in Australia to transition to cage-free across our Own Brand shell egg range in 2013 and all our Coles Own Brand shell eggs sold nationally remain cage-free today. We have also achieved cage-free status for branded (proprietary) shell eggs in both Western Australia (in 2019) and Victoria (2022). As at November 2023, 89% of all shell eggs (both Coles Own Brand and proprietary) sold were cage free and we are making progress to phase out all caged shell eggs in store by 2025.

Now that Coles has achieved these sourcing requirements for Coles Own Brand products sold in Coles supermarkets, we are committed to maintaining these standards through internal governance processes and will continue to report on them annually. To support this, our Animal Welfare Policy objectives are assessed through regular audits of food manufacturing sites, certification to farm assurance standards and the assessment of farms against our Coles Farm Program requirements.

These results are reported by the Quality and Sustainable Sourcing teams to commercial and senior management.

Through the RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme, RSPCA Australia assesses our partner chicken, turkey and free-range pig abattoirs for conformance with the RSPCA Approved Standards. Our partner red meat and pork abattoirs are independently audited by the industry body AUS-MEAT to the Australian Livestock Processing Industry Animal Welfare Certification System (AAWCS)Opens in new window (or an international equivalent if required).

The day-to-day responsibility for animal welfare standards, management and monitoring at Coles is held by the Sustainable Sourcing team.

1 Brambell FWR, 1965, Report of the Technical Committee of Enquiry into the Welfare of Livestock Kept under Intensive Conditions, HMSO: London, UK.

2 Mellor, D.J.; Beausoleil, N.J.; Littlewood, K.E.; McLean, A.N.; McGreevy, P.D.; Jones, B.; Wilkins, C. The 2020 Five Domains Model: Including Human–Animal Interactions in Assessments of Animal Welfare. Animals 2020, 10, 1870. in new window .

3 As at June 2023. This number excludes 2 organic chicken products in Coles Own Brand products due to an absence of RSPCA Approved and Organic certified producers in Australia.

4 Coles Own Brand turkey is only available during Christmas.


Coles has a commitment to source animal products from farming operations that have animal welfare standards which meets our high expectations and, where applicable, hold animal welfare certification. We are continuously working with our suppliers to improve animal welfare standards in a way that supports Australian farmers and food producers, as we know this is important to our customers. Coles ensures that our Animal Welfare Policy is reflected in the supply chain for Coles Own Brand products through mechanisms including supplier contracts, auditing processes and the Coles Farm Program. The Coles Food Manufacturing Supplier Requirement is a standard that Coles Own Brand suppliers are audited against which includes animal welfare standards for relevant suppliers. For example, where processes involve live animals, poultry, fin fish or crustaceans, an animal welfare policy must be in place stating the supplier’s intentions to meet all local laws and regulations regarding animal welfare.

Industry work

Coles participates in industry and animal welfare events organised by state government, researchers and NGOs throughout the year, such as the National Primary Industries Animal Welfare Research Development and Extension Forum and the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework (ABSF), an initiative of the Red Meat Advisory Council managed by Meat and Livestock Australia. Coles has also contributed to industry welfare initiatives such as the development of Meat and Livestock Australia’s Feedlot Cattle Welfare Benchmarking Framework. We are a contributing member of the AUS-MEAT Language and Standards Committee, which manages the development of the AUS-MEAT National Accreditation Standards including welfare requirements.

In 2020, our Sustainable Sourcing Manager – Agriculture contributed to the second season of the RSPCA’s Humane Food PodcastOpens in new window on the topic of antibiotic resistance, usage practices in the Australian agricultural industry and welfare implications of restricting antibiotic use in farm animals. By participating in these events, we aim to stay up-to-date with the most current animal welfare science and collaborate on initiatives to improve animal welfare standards in the long term.

In 2021, Coles ran animal welfare training sessions for Coles team members and suppliers who work with livestock and animal products. This training covered humane slaughter and animal handling at abattoirs. In the last 12 months, our Agriculture Technologist undertook Animal Welfare Officer training and we inducted new Coles Own Brand graduates to our animal welfare requirements and standards.

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