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Woolworths Group releases first Modern Slavery Statement

31 August 2020:  Woolworths Group has released its first Modern Slavery Statement outlining the steps the company has taken to identify, manage and mitigate the specific risks of modern slavery in its operations and supply chain.

Building on the strong foundations of the Group’s Responsible Sourcing Program, the Statement is consistent with reporting obligations under the Modern Slavery Act 2018 and is an important milestone in the Group’s human rights strategy. 

General Manager Quality, Sustainability and Health, Alex Holt, welcomed the Statement; “Our Modern Slavery Statement is an intuitive next step of our work to embed human rights into the way we go about our business every day, so that every decision we make has our purpose and values at heart.

“Although our supply chains are complex, our goal is to ensure that human rights issues are understood, respected and upheld.” 

In July 2018, Woolworths Group launched its Responsible Sourcing Program to manage human rights risks in its supply chain. Since then, more than 2000 suppliers have been onboarded to the program, meaning they meet the social compliance requirements to supply Woolworths branded products. 

The Modern Slavery Statement describes the work the Group has undertaken in F20, notably:  

  • The methodology and outcome of three different forced labour risk assessments conducted across our key trade commodities, non-trade supply chain and operations 
  • Efforts to mitigate these risks including strong policies, contracts, monitoring and worker engagement using case study examples  
  • How the Group is responding to increased human rights risk in response to COVID-19
  • Plans for continuous improvement demonstrated through a baseline effectiveness framework and F21 activities.   

Woolworths Group CEO, Brad Banducci said “Our success will be measured by how well we can ‘know and show’ both where slavery risks are in our supply chains and what we are doing about it. 

“This is the standard we are striving toward in our ways of working because it is the right thing to do and it is what is expected by our customers, stakeholders and the communities we serve.”

Woolworths Groups’ 2020 Modern Slavery Statement can be found here.