Human rights

Coles Group respects human rights and opposes slavery in all its forms. We are committed to minimising the potential for labour and human rights issues in our supply chains and operations and to transparently sourcing goods and services in an ethical manner. Our aim is to ensure that human rights are understood, respected and upheld.

Coles Group’s Ethical Sourcing PolicyOpens in new window and Ethical Sourcing Supplier RequirementsOpens in new window (also available in Mandarin and Vietnamese) apply to all suppliers providing Coles Brand products, fresh produce and meat sold in Coles supermarkets, as well as suppliers of services and goods not for resale, unless those suppliers can otherwise demonstrate they have alternative robust ethical sourcing practices in place which satisfy our requirements. Other suppliers agree to meet the Policy as part of their contract terms and conditions.

Coles’ Ethical Sourcing Policy and Supplier Requirements are based primarily on Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions, including the Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and establish the minimum standards when supplying Coles Group. The Policy covers the ILO fundamental Conventions for freedom of association and collective bargaining (ILO Convention No.87 and No.98), discrimination (ILO No.100 and 111), forced or bonded labour (ILO No, 29 and No.105) and child labour (ILO No. 138 and No.182). Our Ethical Sourcing Policy and Supplier Requirements also cover illegal labour, wages and benefits, working hours and safe working conditions.

Our Ethical Sourcing program, which enables Coles Group to promote and uphold the standards articulated in our Policy, is based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights ‘Protect, Respect and Remedy’ framework. As such, our Ethical Sourcing program focuses on identifying, preventing and mitigating any potential negative human rights impacts throughout the supply chains for Coles Brand, fresh produce, meat, operations, services and goods not for resale.

The Ethical Sourcing program is designed to assess any actual or potential human rights impacts through risk assessments and independent audits. If non-conformances are found suppliers are required to develop and implement auditor verified corrective action plans (CAPs) and track the performance of the CAPs to ensure the root-cause of the issue is addressed. This is checked through follow-up site visits or audits.

It is the supplier’s responsibility to achieve and maintain these standards and to enforce them within those parts of their supply chains involved in producing or supplying Coles Group (e.g. raw materials suppliers, processing facilities, factories, warehouses and third-party labour providers). As our business relationship develops we expect suppliers to raise their standards and continually improve working conditions.

In 2015, Coles signed the Australian Business Pledge against Forced Labour, an industry-led initiative to end forced labour. The Pledge aligns with our Ethical Sourcing Policy.

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