Ethical supply chain practices

Tiger Brands is committed to ethical supply chain practices, with the aim of promoting fair labour activities, tackling plastic packaging waste, ensuring animal welfare and mitigating the potential impacts associated with potentially high-risk raw materials such as palm oil and cocoa.

We are concerned about the impact of our operational activities on the environment, through the production of large volumes of waste from plastic packaging. We work with various packaging recycling organisations to fulfil our extended producer responsibilities.

We are concerned about deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and the use of peat lands in the production of forest commodities such as palm oil and cocoa. We work with palm oil suppliers that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to ensure the sourcing and processing of traceable and certified-sustainable palm oil. We only source cocoa liquor and butter – important ingredients for our chocolate business – from suppliers certified by Fairtrade and the Rainforest Alliance, ensuring our supply chains are anchored by the principles and standards of sustainable production.

We engage with relevant government departments on key issues and legislative changes through facilitated discussion forums, such as through the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and manufacturing industry debates.

Supply chain

While our supply chain draws on most of our capitals, its key impact is on natural capital. Over the past few years, we have focused on reducing this impact through specific initiatives. We reviewed formulations to improve costs without affecting taste and quality, we actively researched and expanded sourcing programmes in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and we continued support to develop domestic farmers. We continue to refine our logistics network with selected partners to achieve cost efficiency and the highest standards of customer service.

Engaging on agricultural practices

Our business depends on healthy ecosystems to produce sustainable supplies of wheat, maize, fruit, vegetables and other raw materials. We are aware of the opportunity to lever the scale and presence of Tiger Brands to drive change through our supply chain towards more sustainable agricultural practices. We are looking to consolidate our efforts on sustainable agriculture, including through the development of a group standard to guide the sourcing of agricultural commodities and products. Currently, our engagement on agricultural practice in our supply chain is governed by the imperative to produce products that are safe, meet all regulatory requirements and fulfil our high standards for quality.

Current key aspects include:

Pesticides and herbicides: Tiger Brands Fresh Produce maintains a comprehensive system of controls and processes to ensure the highest level of product quality and safety. Only AVCASA and BASOS accredited agriculturists can give active technical advice on registered chemicals and fertilisers. All our fresh produce is tested for chemicals and residue before acceptance.

Genetically modified (GM) crops: Tiger Brands does not use any GM cultivars in Purity baby food products.

Soil quality: Tiger Brands Fresh Produce is produced by farmers who practise crop-rotation and cover-cropping to manage soil quality through the control of soil-related diseases, building soil-carbon and retaining soil moisture.

Animal welfare: Tiger Brands adheres to best practice in the rearing, transporting and slaughtering of livestock.

Responsible cocoa and palm oil: Tiger Brands only sources cocoa from suppliers certified by Fairtrade and the Rainforest Alliance. We only work with palm oil suppliers that are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Ethical sourcing

Our ethical sourcing policy was approved by the board in 2018 and is being implemented throughout our supply chain. This policy addresses human rights within our supply chain and is available on our website, www.tigerbrands.com. Suppliers are required to declare their commitment to comply to our ethical sourcing policy annually. Where deemed necessary, suppliers may be audited by Tiger Brands or an external party to verify compliance.

This year, we issued compliance notifications to 705 suppliers which represents 90% of our procurement managed spend. We received signed commitments to comply to our ethical sourcing policy from 50% of suppliers, representing 61% of our procurement managed spend. We are following up with the suppliers who have not yet responded. In FY19, we issued 208 notifications sent, equating to 73% of spend, and received signed commitments from 68%, representing 43% of our spend.

Towards achieving our target to initiate conversations on environmental stewardship with our top-tier suppliers, audits are conducted by Tiger Brands or third-party auditors where the need is identified.

Ethical sourcing declaration tracker

as at 30 September

  2020 2019
Number of notifications sent 705 208
Percentage spend covered by notifications (%) 90,8 73
Number of acknowledgements received 350 141
Percentage acknowledgements received (%) 49 68
Total spend covered by acknowledgements (R billion) 9,3 5,2
Percentage spend covered by acknowledgements 61 43

Human rights

Tiger Brands believes business can only flourish in societies where human rights are protected and respected. This is an area of growing importance to our employees, workers, shareholders, investors, customers, consumers and communities where we operate, as well as civil society groups globally. We recognise that business is responsible for ensuring human rights are upheld in society and that we have the ability to contribute to positive human rights impacts. As such, there is both a business and moral case for ensuring human rights are upheld across our operations and our value chain (supply chain and service providers).

Our human rights policy was developed and approved in 2018. Our human rights policy establishes the principles and responsibilities for implementing, monitoring, reviewing and reporting human rights abuses across the Tiger Brands. The policy has been developed to uphold the inviolable rights of people and to protect the group, its employees, assets, information, operations and reputation. It applies to all employees, temporary employees, contractors, service providers and consultants of Tiger Brands.

The policy is in the process of being implemented across our operations and supply chain. The policy will also be reviewed and further improved during FY21.

Human rights cases can be reported through our ethics line www.tip-offs.com, directly to the company, or identified by other means such as whistleblowing or the media. Training on human rights has been included in our induction programmes for new employees, and awareness is raised among all our employees through internal communication programmes throughout the year. Through our ethical sourcing policy, our suppliers have been requested to declare their acknowledgement and support for our policy, or that they have their own policies in place covering the requirements as set out in our policy.

No cases related to potential human rights issues were reported through our ethics line this year, and no allegations were reported through the media.

The human rights policy and ethical sourcing policy are available at www.tigerbrands.com.