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Ensuring quality, safe products

Coles is committed to providing its customers with safe, high quality Coles own brand products.

Coles’ range of own brand products comprises Coles Brand (which includes grocery, non-grocery, fresh produce, meat, deli and dairy), Coles Finest and Mix apparel.

In FY18, Coles own brand products were recognised with 168 awards.

All Coles own brand suppliers use a web-based product and supplier database, Fusion, which allows for product traceability and strict adherence to quality compliance standards such as declarable allergens, certifications and nutritional information.

Coles’ Manufacturing Supplier Standards for food were updated and then relaunched to Coles own brand suppliers in FY18. These standards cover product safety and quality, packaging and all claims, such as animal welfare and sustainability. They are based on world’s best practice and go beyond Australian regulatory standards.

All factories supplying Coles Brand products are regularly audited to confirm compliance to product safety and quality standards.

During FY18, Coles rigorous supplier testing program for Coles own brand completed more than 49,000 checks covering allergens, imported food, residue, organic products, authenticity and microbiology. Coles also performed quality checks on more than 5,000 products in FY18 and conducted more than 130,000 arrival checks at its fresh produce distribution centres and 38,000 checks for chilled products.

During FY18, four Coles own brand products were recalled due to undeclared allergens (two separate recalls), microbial contamination and possible foreign matter. Coles issued public communications and worked with regulators and its suppliers to mitigate any issues and make improvements and changes to reflect its commitment to provide safe and quality products.


Responsible Service of Alcohol

Coles Liquor is committed to the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and to serving the community responsibly.

Coles Liquor is a signatory to the Alcohol Beverage Advertising Code (ABAC) which requires that advertisements, communications and product labelling include messages promoting responsible alcohol consumption. It continues to partner with DrinkWise an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation promoting a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia.

Coles Liquor participates in more than 183 Liquor Accords nationally and works collaboratively with stakeholders such as the police and regulators to help address alcohol-related harm in the community.

Coles Liquor has strict Liquor Accord participation guidelines in place and has created an online module for store managers to complete to help them understand their responsibilities when it comes to Liquor Accords.

In FY18, Coles Liquor launched RSA online which is an online repository where team members can upload and access their RSA qualification online. RSA online helps mitigate the risk of non-compliance if any team member does not have a physical copy of their RSA qualification with them in store.

Coles Liquor regularly reinforces it key RSA obligations through various programs and communication updates. In FY18, Coles Liquor has:

  • Consolidated three RSA online training modules into one “Responsible Liquor Retailing” module (covering ID25 – age identification, unaccompanied minors and secondary supply). Within the module, store managers can use the gamified ID25 learning check as an ongoing coaching tool;
  • Updated and re-launched the Licensing and Safe Trading Booklet, which is a key reference document to help team members understand and comply with liquor laws;
  • Re-launched ID25 with a move to “Check It Don’t Guess It!" the re-launch includes a range of education and support tools for team members to strengthen compliance including RSA-related cartoons in store planners;
  • Supported stores in managing schoolies week by providing additional signage and communications materials in popular school leavers' holiday locations; and
  • Supported the Northern Territory stores with the introduction of the Banned Drinker Register (BDR) by providing training, signage and other communication materials.

Coles Liquor’s Indigenous engagement activities continued to build on the strong foundations of previous years.

Indigenous employment across the Liquor group increased 17 per cent in FY18, with more than three per cent of all Liquor team members identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. In addition, Coles Liquor has 12 Indigenous store managers.

Liquor team members across the country again undertook cultural diversity training with sessions delivered in Adelaide, Broome, Darwin, Kwinana, Palmerston and Perth. Local Indigenous community initiatives were also supported throughout the year including in Cairns, Kalgoorlie and South Hedland.

During FY18, Liquorland introduced a support program for team members working in remote and rural locations with large Indigenous populations. The program provides increased cultural understanding for team members and assistance to build stronger relationships with local community organisations.

For information on responsible gaming, click here.