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Product quality and safety

Coles has a range of own brand products, which include Coles Brand, Coles Finest and Mix apparel. More than 80 per cent of Coles Brand food and drink is sourced in Australia.

Coles works with suppliers to provide our customers with high quality and safe Coles Brand products. Over the past year, Coles Brand products were recognised with 51 industry awards.

Over 100 supply partners have been trained in the Coles Food Manufacturing Supplier Requirements, with 45 supplier sites achieving the highest rates of compliance with quality and safety requirements over the year. Coles invests in building supplier capability and is exploring a set of standards to support our non-food suppliers to demonstrate quality and safety compliance.

All Coles Brand suppliers use a web-based product and supplier database, Fusion, which allows for product traceability and strict adherence to quality compliance standards such as declarable allergens, certifications and nutritional information.

During the year, its rigorous Coles Brand supplier testing program completed more than 47,000 checks covering allergens, imported food, residue, organic products and microbiology.

Coles also performed quality checks on more than 4,000 products at its Store Support Centre and conducted more than 158,000 arrival checks at its fresh produce distribution centres, with an additional 34,000 checks for chilled products.

During the year, five Coles Brand products were recalled. While this was regrettable, Coles supported its suppliers to mitigate the issues and make improvements and changes to reflect its commitment to processes to provide safe and quality products.


Health star ratings are currently included on over 1,550 Coles Brand products. Coles is working to have more eligible Coles Brands products carrying this labelling in the future.

Coles is developing targets for the reduction of sodium and sugar across the Coles Brand range. It aims to remove more than 100 tonnes of sugar from the Australian food supply in 2018 through a specific reduction strategy in its nutritional snacks range.

Coles is also working hard to remove sodium from its sausage ranges, reformulating its products while preserving quality and taste for its customers. Sugar and sodium reduction initiatives will continue to improve the nutritional profile of our products across the Coles Brand range.

Coles is also driving initiatives to remove additives from its products. Responding to customer feedback on the use of colours, Coles Brand has removed 28 artificial colours from its products and continues to remove other additives where possible to provide products for its customers which are as natural as possible.

Coles continues to actively participate in the Healthy Food Partnership, a Federal Government initiative aimed at encouraging Australians to make healthy food choices. Coles provide transparent and clear labelling on Coles Brand products to enable customers to make informed choices.

During the year Coles also worked with growers across Australia to introduce no added wax apples and pears, offering a more natural product for customers.

Responsible service of alcohol and gaming

Coles Liquor participates in a number of industry-wide initiatives focused on the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and achieving better health outcomes for our customers. Coles Liquor is a signatory to the Alcohol Beverage Advertising Code (ABAC) which requires that all of its advertisements, communications and product labelling include messages promoting responsible alcohol consumption and it continues to partner with DrinkWise an industry-led, not-for-profit organisation promoting a healthier and safer drinking culture in Australia.

Coles Liquor actively participates in more than 180 Liquor Accords nationally and works collaboratively with other stakeholders, including the police and other licensees to help address alcohol-related issues in the community. This year, Coles Liquor introduced new Liquor Accord participation guidelines to assist store managers when attending Liquor Accord meetings.

Coles Liquor is committed to training its team members in the responsible service of alcohol. During the past year Coles Liquor:

  • created four online training modules to support learning and compliance (covering Liquor and Tobacco Obligations, ID25-Age Identification, Unaccompanied Minors and Secondary Supply and Store Manager Responsibilities) with more than 3,900 team members participating;
  • updated and re-launched the Licensing and Safe Trading Booklet, which is a key reference document to help team members understand and comply with liquor laws;
  • supported stores in managing schoolies week by providing additional signage and communications materials in popular school leavers locations; and
  • introduced new “Our Community in Mind” signage and customer communications for stores centred on four key responsible service of alcohol messages.

Coles Liquor is building the cultural capacity of its team through Indigenous cultural diversity training. Sessions were delivered in several locations including South Hedland, Kalgoorlie, Mandurah, Perth and Darwin. The sessions aim to increase team member understanding of Indigenous culture and facilitate proactive engagement with the local Indigenous communities in which it operates. 

For information on responsible gaming, click here.