COLES’ and Woolworths’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies have been criticised by an international not-for-profit organisation for hurting poor suppliers.In a new report that assesses the CSR actions of global retail and consumer goods giants, US-based NFP World Growth claims Coles and Woolworths are following the lead of retailers in Europe and the US by imposing harsh conditions on suppliers in poor countries.
World Growth chairman, Alan Oxley said small family fishing companies in the Pacific will be excluded from supplying Coles because they’re not meeting sustainability criteria.
He said these policies smacked of corporate social irresponsibility, not corporate social responsibility.
“Poor plantation growers with as little as two hectares in rural Asia are effectively being told by major retailers they must comply with environmental standards or their products won’t be bought,” he said.
“Greenpeace and WWF are lobbying to have retailers to adopt these policies, but they don’t appreciate what happens when small suppliers in developing countries can’t meet the standards, or when consumers are denied choice in low-cost goods.”