alert
close

It looks like you are using an old version of your browser and some features of our website might not work properly.

For the best online experience, we recommend you update to the latest version.

Responsible sourcing


Responsible sourcing is focused on animal welfare and the sourcing of raw materials. Click the links below to jump to a section.



 

Certified products and ingredients

Products that are certified by an industry specific body help minimise the instances of unethical practices or environmental damage in the supply chain.


All Coles Brand food and drink products use only sustainable palm oil.

 

Sustainable palm oil

While palm oil is used in many products around the world, unsustainable farming practices are having a negative impact on the environment and wildlife in some countries where palms are grown. Coles is increasingly sourcing grocery products and fresh produce from environmentally responsible growers and suppliers.

Coles is a member of the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and has embraced its Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production. As a member of the RSPO, our intention is to use only sustainable palm oil in all Coles Brand products.

All Coles Brand food and drink products now contain or support RSPO palm oil through the physical supply chain options Identity Preserved, Segregated and Mass Balance. This represents almost all of the palm oil used in Coles Brand products.

We are also moving to sustainable palm oil and palm derivatives in our Coles Brand homecare, health, beauty and baby products. While these changes are being made, we offset the use of palm oil in Coles Brand non-food products by purchasing PalmTrace certificates which support sustainable palm oil farmers and processes. PalmTrace, and previously GreenPalm, has been endorsed by the RSPO as the official broker for the trade in sustainable palm oil certificates.

When developing new Coles Brand products, we will use sustainable palm oil wherever possible and where we cannot, we will use alternative oils and ingredients. This approach encourages palm oil producers to move to sustainable practices, while supporting the livelihoods of those communities dependent on the palm oil industry. Where sustainable palm oil is present in our food and drink products, we will label it accordingly. Our policy requires us to identify palm oil specifically instead of using the common term ‘blended vegetable oils’.


All Coles Brand tea and coffee is from certified sources
(either UTZ, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance).

 

Ethically certified tea, coffee and cocoa products

At Coles, we believe that we have a responsibility to work with the cocoa, coffee and tea industries to ensure that these commodities are sourced ethically and sustainably and to help grow a market for independently certified products such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ.

All Coles Brand tea and coffee is now from certified sources (UTZ, Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance).We are also committed to using certified cocoa in all Coles Brand products by 2020.

 

Sustainable timber and paper products

Customer receipts at all Coles supermarkets, liquor and convenience outlets are certified to the Forest Stewardship Council standard to complement Coles’ ongoing commitment to sustainable paper products.

We aim to have all Coles Brand products made with certified timber and paper by 2020.

 



Animal welfare

At Coles, we care about how the food we sell is produced and where it comes from. We are committed to working towards a sustainable future that supports local farmers and food producers, while looking after the welfare of animals.

We are proud that Coles was the first Australian supermarket to deliver:

  • All Coles Brand pork is sow stall-free and produced without artificial growth promotants since 2014
  • RSPCA Approved Coles Brand chicken since 2014
  • All Coles Brand eggs are cage free since 2013
  • No added hormone Coles Brand beef since 2011

Animal welfare policy

Our Animal Welfare Policy sets out our expectations regarding the treatment of animals in the meat, fresh produce and grocery products supply chains for all Coles Brand products.

The Animal Welfare Policy details our commitment to source meat and animal products from farming operations that have a standard of animal welfare that meets our high expectations and, where appropriate, that hold animal welfare certification. It also specifies that no Coles Brand products will be tested on animals.

Our approach to animal welfare for Coles Brand products is based around the five freedoms:

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst;
  • Freedom from discomfort;
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease;
  • Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour; and
  • Freedom from fear and distress.
Responsible Sourcing

Coles farm program

Established in 2014, the Coles Farm Program captures positive activities our growers and farmers are undertaking to support the environment and provides a platform to explore potential opportunities and support best-practice farming. Each year farmers complete a self-assessment and from that challenges and opportunities can be identified and addressed. For example, as a result of the assessments we have held seminars with some suppliers regarding on-farm energy management and integrated pest management.

The focus of the Program is to work with suppliers to support continuous improvement. Under the Program species and product specific steering committees are being established to provide another mechanism to engage with suppliers. Steering committees for eggs, grass fed beef and fresh produce have already started with the program being rolled out to include other species.

 


RSPCA approved farming scheme

We work with RSPCA Approved farms and brands to offer customers a range of humanely farmed Coles Brand products, including fresh chicken, free range pork and turkey.

The RSPCA Approved Farming SchemeOpens in new window establishes higher welfare standards (beyond legislative requirements) and commercially achievable production standards for pigs, chicken and turkeys. All RSPCA Approved farms are audited on a minimum yearly basis for acceptance into the program.

Animals in the RSCPA Approved Farming Scheme are housed in an environment that meets their physical and behavioral needs. For example, our RSPCA Approved free range pork is sourced from RSPCA Approved farms where pigs are provided with shelter and bedding, as well as having permanent access to outdoor areas where they can roam and forage.

All RSPCA Approved products at Coles are marked with an RSPCA Approved Farming Scheme logo.


 

 

 

Pork

Following extensive work with our pork suppliers, all Coles Brand fresh pork is sow stall free and free from artificial growth promotants. This was a first for an Australian supermarket.

It means that all Coles Brand fresh pork, ham and bacon are sourced from farms that only use gestation stalls for a maximum of 24 hours, as opposed to the industry standard of 10 days. This major animal welfare initiative means that approximately 34,000 mother pigs are no longer kept in small, single-pig stalls for long periods.

All pigs raised by suppliers of Coles Brand pork are free to move about in pens and socialise with other mother pigs.

Coles sow stall free pork undergoes rigorous auditing. In addition to being assessed against the Australian Pork Industry Quality Assurance Program (APIQ), it also assessed to more stringent requirements developed by the APIQ and Coles.

Known as the Customer Specifications for Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd (APIQ + CSC) standardOpens in new window, it extends above the current industry standard.

Coles Brand free range pork is the only RSPCA Approved fresh pork stocked nationally by an Australian supermarket. A long-term contract has allowed an increase in the number of RSPCA Approved pigs grown exclusively for Coles in Western Australia and has resulted in an increase in farm employment.

 

 

Sow Stall free logo 

 

Poultry

In 2013, when we began our journey towards higher welfare chicken, less than five percent of Australian chicken production was approved by the RSPCA. Now over half of national production meets this higher welfare standard, as others in the industry have followed Coles' lead.

"The RSPCA is proud to support Coles in its goal to provide higher welfare products available to its customers. Coles was the first national supermarket to make the switch to sourcing RSPCA Approved chicken under its own brand - a decision which has improved the lives of hundreds of millions of meat chickens. Coles is also the only national retailer to stock RSPCA Approved pork and ensure RSPCA Approved turkey is available at Christmas. The decision by Coles to source a range of RSPCA Approved products demonstrates a great commitment to improving the lives of farm animals." 
Heather Neil, CEO RSPCA Australia


 

Cage free eggs

All Coles Brand eggs are cage free. They are either barn laid or free range.

Our Coles Brand free range and barn laid standard aligns with the five freedoms and requires that hens are free to display their natural behaviours by having access to nest boxes, perches and litter for dust bathing.

In addition, the Coles Brand free range standard requires that during the day hens have easy access to an outdoor range, shade from the sun and space to roam.

We are working with our proprietary egg suppliers to increase production of cage free eggs, as we know this is important to our customers.

 

 

Beef: no added hormones

All the fresh Coles Brand beef in our meat departments has been 100 percent Australian sourced with no added hormones since 2011. By not adding hormones the cattle can grow more naturally.

No added hormones logo
GrazeGrassFed2017

Graze beef

Graze beef is sourced from Australian farmers in partnership with Coles. It is grass fed, 100 percent Australian, free to roam and with no added hormones.

Graze beef cattle are free to graze in open pastures across Australia from the New South Wales tablelands, Victoria’s North East and Gippsland areas, South Australia’s Limestone Coast and the Great Southern Region of Western Australia.

Growers adhere to high standards which require the cattle to have access to graze in open pastures, to be cared for by skilled stock men and women and to be free of hormone growth promotants. The Graze beef standards also cover feed and water, as well as other areas including traceability and animal handling.

 




Responsibly sourced seafood

All Coles Brand seafood is responsibly sourced. We understand that well-managed and responsible fishing is essential to maintaining healthy fish populations and habitats, and to ensure the future sustainability of our marine ecosystems.

Our responsibly sourced Coles Brand seafood includes seafood available at the deli, canned Coles Brand tuna in the grocery aisle and frozen Coles Brand products such as fish fingers. Our range includes wild-caught and farmed seafood.


All Coles brand seafood is responsibly sourced and has been since 2015.

 

Different programs and certifications ensure potential impacts on marine health and the environment are carefully monitored.

Responsibly sourced seafood comes from fisheries and aquaculture farms that have been independently assessed. All Coles Brand seafood products have Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification or meet Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood criteria. Products are labelled according to the methodology under which they have been certified.

As part of the Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood program, we have undertaken independent assessments of hundreds of wild and farmed seafood products to meet robust Coles Brand responsible sourcing requirements.

We will continue to review our program yearly as fish stocks can fluctuate and the environment in which fisheries operate is complex and ever-changing.

ASClogoMSClogoRSSlogo 


Wild caught seafood - Marine Stewardship Council certified

"Coles has played a pioneering role in sustainable seafood. It has the only Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) chain of custody certified wetfish counters in Australia, and offers the largest range of certified products of any Australian retailer. Coles’ sourcing policy is world-leading." 
Patrick Caleo, MSC Regional Director, Asia-Pacific

Recognised as one of the world’s leading certification programs for sustainable wild-catch seafood, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is an independent, non-governmental organisation committed to maintaining sustainable oceans. Coles recognises the MSC as the gold standard for sustainable wild-caught seafood.


Coles was awarded the MSC’s Best Sustainable
Seafood Supermarket in Australia in 2017/18.

 


Farmed seafood - Aquaculture Stewardship Council certified

Farmed seafood (aquaculture) allows us to provide year-round, high-quality seafood which complements wild caught seafood availability.

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) is a leading global certification and labelling program for responsibly farmed seafood. The ASC is an independent, non-profit organisation that was established in 2010 by WWF and IDH (Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative) to manage a global set of standards for aquaculture. We recognise ASC as the gold standard for responsibly farmed seafood.

"By offering consumers ASC-certified seafood, Coles gives Australians the opportunity to recognise and reward responsible sourcing as well as contribute to transforming aquaculture towards sustainability. This is excellent news for Australian seafood lovers, and a major milestone in Coles’ ongoing commitment towards a sustainable seafood offer." 
Chris Ninnes, CEO ASC


Coles responsibly sourced seafood program

At Coles, our preference is to source either MSC or ASC certified seafood. We also understand that obtaining certification can be a rigorous and intensive process so for those suppliers yet to obtain this we have implemented the Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood Program.

The Program applies to both wild and farmed seafood.

The Program for wild caught seafood was developed in conjunction with WWF Australia and MRAG Asia Pacific (an independent sustainable seafood specialist). Independent auditors assess suppliers against the following criteria:

  • Target fish stocks: The health and robustness of the target fish population and the measures in place to ensure they remain healthy in the future;
  • Ecosystem impacts: The impact of the fishing method on other species and the surrounding ecosystem; and
  • Fishery Management: The effectiveness of the fishery management system in promoting healthy fish stocks and ecosystems.

The Program for farmed (aquaculture) requires suppliers to be either certified by GLOBALG.A.P. or Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP4), or to have undertaken an independent assessment against an approved methodology such as that developed by WWF Australia.

This means that all aspects of the farming production system (from broodstock, seedling, feed, harvesting and processing) and any potential environmental impacts (such as water quality) have been independently assessed and meet Coles’ standards.

"Having a large retailer like Coles come out with a public commitment to sourcing seafood in a responsible manner has raised the game of sustainable seafood to a new level, putting it on the national agenda."

"At WWF we have been proud to walk side by side with Coles on their sustainable seafood journey. Coles increasing its stock of MSC and ASC certified seafood products and launching its own Responsibly Sourced Seafood Program, demonstrates their commitment towards the goals of healthy oceans."
Gilly Llewellyn, WWF

 


Future friendly sourcing logos

Customers may still see the blue or green Future Friendly Sourcing logos on some of our Coles Brand seafood. These logos are being replaced by the MSC, ASC or Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood logo. If you purchase a product with the Future Friendly Sourcing logo you can be confident it has been responsibly sourced and complies with our new Coles Brand Responsibly Sourced Seafood Program.

Future Friendly Sourcing Logo

Responsibly sourced tuna

Our Coles Brand canned Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna are responsibly sourced which means the following conditions are met:

Fish stocks: The fish stock where Coles Brand Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna are caught has been independently assessed as part of our Coles Responsibly Sourced Seafood Program.

Reduced by-catch: Coles Brand Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna are caught without the use of fish aggregating devices (FADs), which are essentially rafts that attract fish. This results in less by-catch.

Traceability: Coles Brand Skipjack and Yellowfin canned tuna can be traced back to the approved fishing boat that caught the tuna as well as the boat that transported it to the cannery.

Independent observers: Boats that catch Coles Brand Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna have independent observers on board to ensure robust data is available to help manage the fishery and monitor compliance with conservation measures specified by the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.