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Australian sourcing and supplier collaboration

Coles is committed to building strong and collaborative relationships with Australian farmers, producers and growers. By supporting our suppliers and producers, and helping them to grow their businesses and become more efficient, we are further enabling the delivery of great products to our customers.

Coles has an Australia-first sourcing policy to source Australian-grown food whenever and wherever we can. Coles sources more than 96 per cent of fresh fruit and vegetables from Australian growers, 100 per cent of fresh milk and eggs, and 100 per cent of fresh meat for the meat department is from Australian producers.

Coles is also supporting Australian producers and growers with new and extended long-term contracts. During the year, Coles signed a 10-year agreement with TOP Pork Pty Ltd which paves the way for 12 Victorian and South Australian farming families to supply sow stall free pork directly to Coles each week. In 2015, Coles entered into a 10-year agreement with Sundrop Farms to supply tomatoes and in 2016, Coles secured an eight-year agreement with Manbulloo Mangoes.

During the year Coles extended its milk contract with Norco. The original five-year contract, signed in 2014, has been extended until 2023 with Coles having an option to extend until 2026. Under the arrangement, around 220 New South Wales and Queensland dairy farmers will supply 60 million litres of Coles Brand milk annually.

Under a supply contract with Simplot, which has been extended until 2024, Coles has committed to sourcing an additional six million kilograms a year of Australian-grown vegetables which were previously sourced from overseas.

Sustainable agriculture

Coles continued to rollout the app-based Coles Farm program to support its suppliers to improve the sustainability of their farming operations through enhanced traceability, environmental performance monitoring and employee training.

During the year, Coles partnered with a leading agri-environmental consultancy to conduct Australia’s first on-farm carbon foot-printing assessment of beef producers, using methodology approved by the Carbon Trust.

Coles Agronomy Group was launched during the year, with 12 growers volunteering their time to work together with Coles to address industry challenges around varietal development, agronomy (fertiliser and pesticides), water use and labour practices in the fresh produce industry.

Country of origin

Coles has supported the launch of the Federal Government’s new country of origin labelling scheme, which comes into effect in July 2018. More than 300 Coles Brand products now bear labels that better support transparency around product origin.