Woolworths addresses labour rights in supply chain for fresh goods

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As part of Woolworths’ continuing review of its ethical sourcing practices, the retailer 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,” Woolworths Group CEO Brad Banducci 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.”

Following discussions with the NUW and the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR), Woolworths has committed to:

  • Working collaboratively towards the implementation of an agreed pre-qualification programme for labour-hire providers to ensure that all labour providers who wish to operate in Woolworths’ direct fresh-food supply chains comply with labour and human-rights standards.
  • Supporting workers in Woolworths’ supply chains:
    • to be educated about their workplace rights, including their right to join a labour union of their choice.
    • to have access to an effective grievance mechanism to ensure that human-rights violations are reported, investigated and remediated.
    • to be protected if they report 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,” Mr Banducci said. “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.”

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