Product safety initiatives
Each of our divisions has undertaken product safety initiatives this year that target their particular product safety risks. Some of those initiatives include:
- Bunnings continued to proactively engage with suppliers to ensure adherence to product safety standards. As part of this, Bunnings conducts regular product audits to ensure conformance with relevant mandatory standards, and undertakes independent safety tests on selected products to confirm compliance to safety standards and customer expectations.
- Coles' Manufacturing Supplier Standards for food were updated and then relaunched to suppliers in FY18. These standards cover product safety and quality, packaging and all claims, such as animal welfare and sustainability. They are based on world’s best practice and go beyond Australian regulatory standards. All factories supplying Coles Brand products are regularly audited to confirm compliance to product safety and quality standards.
- During FY18, Coles rigorous supplier testing program for Coles own brand products completed more than 49,000 checks covering allergens, imported food, residue, organic products, authenticity and microbiology. Coles also performed quality checks on more than 5,000 products in FY18 and conducted more than 130,000 arrival checks at its fresh produce distribution centres and 38,000 checks for chilled products.
- Kmart continued to shift the reliance of quality inspections away from post-production final inspections to pre-production meetings and during-production inspections to assist in identifying quality improvements earlier in the manufacturing process. It also commenced formal in-store audits to survey the quality of goods being sold to customers. Kmart also increased levels of pro-active engagement with regulators in Australia and New Zealand to build constructive relationships and regulator trust in Kmart safety and compliance frameworks.
- Target introduced a new strict button battery policy, aimed at battery avoidance and safety, to address ongoing customer concern around the dangers associated with button batteries and the ease of accessibility to young children. The objective is to have removed 98 per cent of button batteries from Target products and strongly influence other brands to commence removal. Target updated its metal contamination policy to include a penalty system and unannounced audits. Relevant training has been given to internal team members and suppliers on the new policy. Target also introduced measures to achieve full compliance with the Best Practice Guide for Furniture and Television Tip-Over Prevention prepared by the National Retailers Association. Target Product Safety & Quality manuals will be updated to reflect the new industry strategy and Target expects to be fully compliant within the next six months.
- WesCEF provides free safety advice and training to customers handling its major chemical and energy products such as sodium cyanide, ammonium nitrate emulsion, LNG and LPG products. WesCEF also offer on-site emergency response training to many of its customers.
- Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety developed a customised Own-Brand Quality and Compliance online tool for Blackwoods to house all information pertaining to factories for quality and technical audits, product testing and specifications, factory quality inspections and internal quality inspections, customer technical data sheets and incident management. This tool due for implementation in FY19 will revolutionise how we approach product safety and allow for real time supplier performance management and an agile response to customer requests.