Australian businesses, producers and farmers have been recognised at the 2020 Coles Supplier Awards for helping to provide essential food, groceries, beverages and service to shoppers across the country.
In a year marked by drought, bushfires and Covid-19, suppliers’ combined efforts have helped Coles to safely serve more than 600 million customers since the pandemic began.
Across 14 different categories, Coles food, liquor and service suppliers were awarded for innovation, service, sustainable practices and community initiatives.
Coles CEO Steven Cain said the 2020 Supplier Awards were an important opportunity to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution of Coles suppliers across the country.
“A key part of our Win Together strategy is to build sustainable long-term partnerships with our suppliers. In a year like 2020, with drought, bushfires, floods and then Covid-19, the strength of these partnerships has never been more important and we are enormously grateful to our suppliers for their collaboration and commitment to our customers,” he said.
“This year, we received a record number of entries, with nearly 400 nominations for 14 awards.”
“In 2020, Coles Group and its suppliers inspired customers by introducing more than 1600 new products to our supermarkets, liquor and Express stores with a growing focus on health, convenience, sustainability and local. Together with our suppliers, customers and team members, we also contributed $139 million to the community in FY20, up 21 per cent on FY19.”
Sundrop Farms CEO Steve Marafiote said, “A farm like ours would typically burn diesel, coal or oil but we’ve replaced that with solar power. We’ve been able to demonstrate that is possible to take non-agricultural land and make it highly productive.”
“We have created 300 new jobs at the farm – from engineering and accounting to labouring and have also been able to provide a career path for people from the local Indigenous community.”
The winners of the Coles Supplier of the Awards were:
- Coles Fresh Supplier of the Year: Sundrop Farms – for its outstanding commitment to quality and sustainability. The business in Port Augusta, South Australia, grows truss tomatoes with desalinated water from the Spencer Gulf and solar power generated from 23,000 mirrors.
- Coles Sustainable Supplier of the Year: True Foods – for its investment in its own onsite solar farm, LED lighting, and reduced plastic packaging to drive sustainability. The family-owned Australian business produces tortilla wraps, naan and roti breads at its bakery in regional Victoria for Simson’s Pantry and Coles brands.
- Coles Own Brand Supplier of the Year: Suntory Coffee – for helping deliver café quality coffee to customers in their homes with the launch of the Daley Street coffee range in June. The Daley Street range is blended and batch roasted at Suntory Coffee’s roastery in the Melbourne suburb of Preston.
- Coles Liquor Supplier of the Year: Pernod Ricard Australia – for its collaboration and innovation across the wine and spirits categories, including spirits and ready-to-drink products such as flavoured gins.
- Coles Product Launch of the Year: MONDAY Hair Care by Zuru Edge – for Monday Hair Care – a range of SLS free, Paraben free and cruelty free hair products which are packaged in recyclable bottles. Zuru Edge and Coles brought the range exclusively to the Australian market in April.
- Coles Community Champion of the Year: Reckitt Benckiser (RB) – for its #FinishWaterWaste initiative, which encourages Australians to save water when washing dishes. The campaign has already enabled Rural Aid to deliver more than six million litres of water to drought-affected farmers already this year.
- Coles Meat, Seafood and Deli Supplier of the Year: Primo – for its innovative new products, its commitment to customers during the pandemic and the roll-out of recyclable packaging across 88 Coles Brand products supplied by Primo.
- Coles Bakery Supplier of the Year: George Weston Foods – for its customer focus, collaborative support for communities affected by bushfires and innovative products such as the family favourite, Crumpet Toast.
- Coles Convenience Supplier of the Year: Da Vinci – for its innovative ideas for the fresh pasta category and the introduction of a 100% recyclable tray for Coles Own Brand fresh pasta.
- Coles Dairy and Freezer Supplier of the Year: The Milk Department – for its crucial role in Coles’ innovative direct-to-farm milk sourcing model in Victoria, NSW, South Australia and more recently WA.
- Coles Non-Food Supplier of the Year: Sukin – for its collaborative, innovative and sustainable approach to hair care, skin care and personal care. Sukin’s products are Australian made, naturally derived and vegan.
- Coles Grocery Supplier of the Year: Asahi Beverages – for working with Coles to provide drinking water to communities affected by drought and bushfires; and for its flexible, responsive approach during Covid-19.
- Coles Express Supplier of the Year: Red Bull – for the launch of the new Red Bull Red Edition, its collaboration on Coles Express Instant Win and Footy Finals campaigns; and its commitment to save energy and packaging.
- Coles Service Champion of the Year: PROBE Group and The Resilience Project – for their outstanding service to Coles during Covid-19. PROBE Group’s support in providing customer service was invaluable during the pandemic and The Resilience Project created a dedicated program to support the wellbeing of Coles’ team members.