Ethical behaviour

Tiger Brands is committed to creating an environment of mutual trust and respect, internally and within our extended network. All our employees subscribe to the Tiger Brands code of conduct, which was updated in 2020, and represents a clear, conscious and personal commitment to upholding good ethical practice in the workplace.

The code explicitly outlines Tiger Brands' positioning on ethical conduct in the workplace and provides clear guidelines for practice that ensure a culture of good ethical conduct is fostered, including the provision of platforms to report unethical behaviour. Our code foregrounds respect for human rights, and encourages the fostering of diversity and the provision of equal opportunities. All forms of discrimination and harassment are prohibited, whether based on gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, age, religion, marital status, sexual-orientation or disability.

Consistent with the code, Tiger Brands is committed to ensuring that:

During FY20, against the benchmark set by our code, 19 employees were dismissed, eight resigned, five received final/written warnings, five criminal cases were registered with SAPS as a result of employee misconduct, and nine contract-employees and two vendor services were terminated.

Anti-corruption and anti-bribery

Tiger Brands is committed to ensuring that its principles on ethics are implemented across the company. Any acts of bribery and corruption are strictly prohibited, and we have a zero-tolerance approach to any action that goes against the code. Our anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy prohibits payment for lobbying and facilitation payments, while political donations are not permitted in terms of the code. Payment for lobbying or facilitation payments are also not allowed. Our declaration of interest policy sets out situations that may constitute a conflict and provides for the mandatory declaration of any interest, which must be made annually or as soon as reasonably possible after the interest arises. The gifts, entertainment and hospitality policy sets out the parameters within which gifts, entertainment and hospitality may be received or given and creates an obligation to disclose such.

These policies and the code of conduct are published on our intranet. We also publish and display relevant articles and posters around our sites, and via our various electronic media platforms, to further educate employees on corruption and other ethics-related matters. Online learning (e-learning) for all employees above a specific management level is supported by training every two years with the next training cycle taking place in FY21. These ongoing initiatives are mandatory for all employees who might be at risk of corruption or bribery through the course and scope of their employment in the company.

Tiger Brands uses the services of Tip-offs Anonymous (a division of Deloitte), to give all employees, suppliers, customers, consumers (not for customer complaints) and members of the public the opportunity to do the right thing and anonymously report any ethical transgression, dishonesty or fraud. Our whistleblowing programmes are proactively communicated to employees and available in local languages. An independent reporting hotline is available 24/7 (for employees and third parties). Non-retaliation is a key aspect of our whistleblowing policy and is dealt with under applicable whistleblowing legislation in South Africa.

All incidents reported to Tip-offs Anonymous are received by the internal audit and risk director and the chief legal officer. Reports are actioned within 24 hours and all investigations are supported by a formal investigative report issued to the relevant line manager and chief executive officer. Further internal controls are in place to mitigate against risks.

24/7 independent reporting hotline
70 whistleblowing reports received in 2020 (against 42 in 2019)

A monthly ethics report is presented to the executive committee. The status of all cases, including closed cases, is discussed and noted at this meeting. This report is also tabled at audit and SET committee meetings. Whistleblowing reports are categorised into alleged corruption, fraud, health and safety, human resources and employee relations issues, theft and unethical behaviour.

During FY20, 70 whistleblowing reports were received:

66 were closed and four are currently under investigation (FY19: 42, FY18: 54, FY17: 60).

Tax strategy

The group's tax objective is to protect and enhance shareholder value by achieving a sustainable tax result that complies with the tax laws in jurisdictions in which we operate. We continuously observe the changing tax landscape across jurisdictions to ensure that we comply with all tax regulations as well as maintain the integrity of our compliance and reporting requirements. The effectiveness of our tax framework is aligned within the context of the group's overall governance framework. We will not enter into any transactions that will compromise our commitment to comply with all tax laws, regulations and policies, and seek openness and transparency in all our dealings with tax authorities. We continuously endeavour to align our tax objectives to our corporate values to ensure that we uphold and protect our corporate reputation.

The company's effective tax rate for FY20 is 31,0% (before abnormal items and income from associated companies) in comparison to FY19's effective tax rate of 29,7%.

Cybersecurity and protection of personal information

It is of vital importance that customers trust Tiger Brands with the safety of their information. We highly value the security and privacy of the personal information we hold and process, and are increasingly prioritising this security, as we adapt to keep pace with a rapidly-evolving technology, digital and cybersecurity landscape. Due to this shifting context, we are continuously making an iterative effort to implement our plans, enhance our practices and build our capabilities in this arena over time. Tiger Brands is on-track and in-progress with implementing and enhancing our cybersecurity policies, processes and systems, and ensuring consistent compliance with the requirements of the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 (PoPIA) and EU General Data Protection Regulations.

We have built clear roadmaps to ensure that we are cyber-resilient across our environment, including our manufacturing plants. These roadmaps are underpinned by clear management commitments and are tracked and monitored through the risk and sustainability, and audit committees. The group information officer is responsible for ensuring continued compliance to the PoPIA requirements and reports progress to the risk and sustainability committee, in line with the committee's annual work plan.

We have clear intentions towards building and fostering a security-smart culture at Tiger Brands, and a key aspect of our approach is to reflect strategically on our actions and apply the lessons learnt. Supporting this practice, we regularly recruit independent assessments of our performance against best-practice and industry standards, ensuring that any gaps are appropriately prioritised and remediated. Training and awareness is a key focus, as this ensures that the insider threats are addressed. To this end, security campaigns focused on specific security-related topics will be run quarterly; via newsletters, video's, podcasts and email inserts. The communication of our policy will be also formalised to ensure that a strong sense of principles and protocols becomes instilled across the organisation. In terms of readiness, cyber incident simulations will continue to be run as a core element of our training at all levels. This will ensure we are as ready as possible, when faced with a significant cyber-attack.