This page contains the Coles requirements that all suppliers of fresh produce must comply with.
It is the suppliers’ responsibility to communicate the Coles Brands standards through their supply chain to ensure compliance. This page does not and is not intended to set out all the legal requirements suppliers must comply with. We recommend suppliers need to obtain their own advice on their legal obligations.
Coles currently operates certification schemes against a number of different standards:
- Part 1 – Third Party Audits & Certification
Coles Brand Suppliers may choose a 3rd Party Certification Standard from the range of external industry standards selected by Coles:
All Banana Suppliers only must undertake one of the following:
Coles Brand Suppliers may have a choice of external standard. The matrix below may assist in making a choice of preferred 3rd Party Standard. Use theFood Standards Matrix – Whole Fruit & Vegetables to select the appropriate standard.
Suppliers of fresh produce who are located in Australia and New Zealand must ensure that they are using a Coles approved Certification Body, and that the auditor is certified under the Coles Auditor Scheme.
- Part 2: Coles’ Additional Requirements of supply
In addition to the audit against the external standard, Coles Brand suppliers must ensure that they are compliant to the additional elements required by Coles to enhance our brand protection program. With the release of the ‘HARPS’ (Horticulture Australia Retailer Produce Standard) , Coles have elected to allow a transition program for the additional program requirements:
For more information on the transition, please see HARPS Launch Letter.
Coles Farm Program
This is a voluntary initiative designed as a Self-Assessment Questionnaire for farmers.
The purpose of the program is to understand the good news stories that are on farm alongside what support our farmers may need with Environmental and Sustainability activities.
Control Specifications are managed and created internally at Coles and distributed to many suppliers.
Chemical and Microbiological Testing Standards
The Coles Testing Standards have been designed to manage food safety and quality risks for Coles Brand, and now include a minimum testing frequency. They align with national standards such as the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, testing guidelines published by state regulators such as the NSW Food Authority and Dairy Food Safety Victoria, as well as international guidelines including Codex and the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST). Overall these testing standards help to ensure the continued delivery of industry good practice in accordance with Coles Brand supplier requirements.
For convenience, the Testing Standards have been preloaded into Coles Fusion according to product type.
The Testing Standards will come into effect on 7 November 2016 following a six month transition period. Therefore, to ensure supplier testing standards are compliant, we ask that suppliers undertake an evaluation during this transition period and make any required changes prior to 7 November 2016.
Whilst we believe most suppliers’ existing testing procedures already meet the Coles Testing Standards and testing frequencies, if there are any additional testing costs incurred to achieve compliance, these will need to be borne by the supplier as part of the supplier’s ongoing food safety and quality program.