How will your organisation promote the RSPO internally and to other stakeholders?
Coles aims to work with the food manufacturing industry to transition to sustainable sources of palm oil in its private label (Coles Brands) products and help customers make informed choices.
Coles intends to communicate our membership and commitment to the RSPO with our 110,000 team members through a range of internal communications channels. We will also be undertaking training with key members of our team who are involved in product development and purchasing so that they are able to assist us achieve the goals of our Palm Oil Policy.
We also intend to communicate our commitments and responsibilities to our customers through our customer communication channels such as our website and Customer Care Contact Center. We already label palm oil where it occurs in our product range to enable our customers to make informed choices on this issue.
Upon successfully joining the RSPO and confirmation of our action plan, Coles would seek to issue a media release to drive awareness of the RSPO and its aims and principles as well as providing information on our website.
To enable us achieve our Palm Oil Policy and Action Plan, we will be reviewing all of our Brand Standards and reissuing these to our suppliers to ensure that they are aware of our Palm Oil objectives and understand the Principles of the RSPO.
Where relevant, what processes is the organisation establishing to engage with interested parties, for example to resolve conflict or to use sustainably produced palm oil?
Coles is surveying its manufacturers to understand more about palm oil in our Colesâ€™ Brands products to establish whether our products containing palm oil are from high risk unsustainable sources. We are asking our suppliers to also advise the products palm/palm kernel oil is used in and approximate annual quantities.
We are currently engaging our supplier base with the aim of finding potential suppliers to source sustainable Palm oil and assessing the availability and quantities of sustainable palm oil so that we can provide sustainable palm oil supplier options to our product manufacturers.
Coles is also investigating Green Palm certification process as well as UTZ certification and whether these approaches would be appropriate for Coles to undertake.
We have also undertaken some research with our key product manufacturers to assess the possibilities of converting the products they produce for us to certified sustainable palm oil.
Our Brand Standards currently states that â€œwhen palm oil is used we will aim to use it in line with the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Productionâ€.
We have also begun to engage key NGOs in the field including Greenpeace and World Wild Life Fund (WWF) to gain their advisement on this issue.
Where relevant, how will your organisation work towards implementing the RSPO Principles and Criteria or assessing supplier performance against these criteria?
Coles has a very rigorous Quality system in line with Global Best Practice (requiring suppliers to be British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Safe Quality Food (SQF) certified), product development process gates and detailed specifications in our Product Life Cycle User System, known as ColesPLUS, to monitor and report on palm oil sourcing. ColesPLUS already enables us to clearly label Palm oil as an ingredient on our Colesâ€™ Brands products which we have completed for approximately 800 products of our Mid tier range in 2010.
ColesPLUS will allow us to identify where palm oil is used in our products as well as track whether the palm oil supplied is certified sustainable and any associated receipts or certificates attached to that palm oil.
Coles is also developing a Palm Oil Policy & Action Plan in line with the RSPO Principles and Criteria to enable us to reach our tergets.
Any other information that would support the application such as what your organisation hopes to gain from joining RSPO and how it would support RSPO?
Coles hopes to get access to Best Practices in relation to how other companies and manufacturers are achieving and surpassing the RSPO Principles and Criteria.
Coles also hopes that we may get a better understanding of the supply base so that we can investigate the availability of certified sustainable palm oil.
We also hope that as a member of the RSPO we will have access to information about new trends, practices and key stakeholders in the industry so that we can work to reach our goals and continually improve in this area.
As one of Australiaâ€™s largest retailers, we hope that our membership of the RSPO will demonstrate leadership in the area and help to educate our employees and millions of customers about this critical issue as well as the goals of the RSPO.
We also hope that by joining the RSPO, Coles can be part of the solution and help drive change in relation to responsible sourcing of palm oil.