Coles and Woolworths are the principal buyers of fresh fruit and vegetables in Australia. Between them, the two major supermarkets have a market share of over 70%.
ACCR are engaging Woolworths and Coles regarding the significant risks stemming from serious human and labour rights abuses in their value chain. With the Modern Slavery Act coming into force this year, the attention to these risks – and the responsibility of the major supermarkets to mitigate them – will only increase.
If you hold shares in either Woolworths and Coles and would like to support potential resolutions against these companies, please sign-up here.
The team at ACCR lodged a resolution with Woolworths (WOW) that was heard at the company’s Annual General Meeting in Sydney on Wednesday 21 November 2018. This resolution, co-filed with LUCRF Super, called for:
- the implementation of a labour hire pre-qualification program;
- mandated trade union involvement in grievance procedures and worker education; and
- regular disclosure of progress against these items to shareholders.
The resolution aimed to ensure Woolworths fulfils the commitments it made in 2017 to work with the NUW to implement a series of changes to Woolworths’ supply chain management strategies designed to address the severe labour rights violations documented at Woolworths’ supplier farms across Australia, thereby mitigating a multitude of associated business and operational risks.