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Strong relationships with our suppliers will deliver better value to our customers through trust, collaboration and innovation.

Woolworths’ management of supplier relationships receives high levels of scrutiny. We have had some success with the establishment of our 'Good Buyer and Supplier Principles' in our Endeavour Drinks Group. Yet across the Group, we recognise that we must continue to improve.

Our Corporate Responsibility Strategy 2020 and new brand purpose are working hand in hand to rebuild trust. Trust is built through fair and equitable dealings that provide value to our customers and a fair return to our suppliers.

An ambitious target has been set for 2020 that 'We will achieve a top quartile ranking in how we engage fairly and equitably with our suppliers as measured by independent supplier surveys'. In support of this target, we are moving from Annual Surveys to Biannual Surveys, and have developed a bimonthly ‘Voice of Supplier’ pulse survey. This will support closer, more timely feedback to enable improved relationships with suppliers.

This Corporate Responsibility Strategy acknowledges the need for a cultural shift in the business to recognise the value of positive and productive relationships with our suppliers. To achieve this, we will undertake a review of KPIs, targets, processes and expectations set by management.

We will seek opportunities to collaborate with our suppliers for mutual gains. We will establish common platforms for the discussion and development of solutions such as developing resilience to climate impacts and sharing knowledge with our suppliers on emissions reduction strategies and energy productivity improvements.

Woolworths is committed to continuous improvement, transparency and accountability. We will not tolerate workplace misconduct under any circumstances and we need our trade partners to work with us to stamp out any and every instance. Woolworths has clear, long-standing and accepted procedures for trade partners to report any issues.

We also recognise there is always an opportunity to strengthen our systems. This is why we have introduced the Speak Up service for trade partners to use when normal escalation methods have been exhausted or are inappropriate.

Issues that can be reported through the Speak Up service include breaches of the law or instances where trade partners believe that dealings with a Woolworths business division or employee have created or are likely to create issues such as:

  • Fraud, corruption or behaviour that threatens others
  • People or product safety risk
  • Breach of the Law, in particular, restrictive or unconscionable trade practices
  • Theft
  • Conflict of interest
  • Secret commissions, bribes or corruption
  • Improper disclosure of confidential information
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
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