Woolworths reaffirms ethical fresh food supply chain commitment

Woolworths has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that the human rights of all workers in the company’s operations and supply chains are protected.

As part of Woolworths’ continuing review of its ethical sourcing practices, the supermarket chain has committed to working collaboratively with the National Union of Workers (NUW) and other interested stakeholders, to identify and address human rights risks in fresh food supply chains in Australia.

“Our belief is that finding the right solution to address human rights risks in horticultural supply chains in Australia will be best achieved by working collaboratively with farmers, governments and unions,” Brad Banducci, CEO, Woolworths Group, said.

“We recognise the current efforts of these stakeholders, including the NUW, and are committed to actively participating in a process to deliver genuine improvements and sensible and practical reform.”

As part of the commitment, and following discussions with the NUW and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), Woolworths has committed to implementing an agreed pre-qualification programme for labour-hire providers, and educate workers in Woolworths’ supply chains about their workplace rights. This includes the right to join a labour union of their choice, have access to an effective grievance mechanism to ensure that human rights violations are reported, investigated and remediated, and be protected if reporting human rights violations.

“These commitments will give effect to our pledge in our Woolworths Group Corporate Responsibility Strategy 2020 to work with peak organisations to improve workers’ lives,” said Banducci. “They also strengthen Woolworths’ ability to manage human rights risks and ensure compliance with Woolworths’ Ethical Sourcing Policy and Policy for Employing or Engaging Overseas Workers.”