Relationship Capital

Massmart defines relationship capital as the value added to our business through our relationship with stakeholders
face-to-face interviews with customers


Cambridge Food  rated the
most trusted
Massmart brand in a study conducted with customers


Supplier advocacy:
suppliers profiled on
different environmental indicators since 2011


Direct feedback from



We aim to create transparent trust-based relationships with our stakeholders. We believe that understanding their perspectives in areas of mutual interest can positively influence our actions, enabling us to make thoughtful choices for a better future.
To enable this, we practice an open-door policy with all our stakeholders. We host workshops, undertake surveys and facilitate one-on-one meetings to understand our stakeholders’ views and to test the validity of our corporate accountability approach.


Engaging our stakeholders

Our stakeholder engagement programme covers a range of key topics. It enables customers, suppliers, civil society and employees to provide input and feedback in areas of interest including:

  1. Customer satisfaction: covering price competitiveness, product quality and safety, product availability and Consumer Protection Act Compliance.
  2. Supplier partnering: dealing with supply chain ethics, brand custodianship, logistics efficiency and operational practices.
  3. Employee engagement: including management style, career management, equal opportunities and work environment.
  4. Environmental sustainability: covering waste management in the supply chain, energy efficiency, sustainable seafood and timber sourcing.
  5. Socio-economic development: involving our corporate social investment priorities, our BBBEE progress and our approach to supplier development.


Responding to Stakeholder Feedback

Surveys and workshops are supplemented by informal discussion and one-on-one meetings as required. The engagement process in its entirety resulted in a number of follow-up actions examples of which are indicated below:

  • In response to the results of the BUA survey, the Massmart CEO tasked divisional leaders to drive management-lead feedback sessions to engage employees further on feedback and derive corrective measures where needed.
  • In recognising efforts to drive customer satisfaction, Massmart acknowledged the Cambridge Food team for being rated the most trusted Massmart brand in a study conducted with customers.
  • Relational feedback received from suppliers was supplemented by a divisional merchant leaders’ debrief and direct follow ups with suppliers who had indicated dissatisfaction in their response were conducted.
  • We recognised topics such as nation-building and greening the supply chain as areas of mutual interest with suppliers over and above our commercial relationship. To this end, we hosted an information sharing session with suppliers who have indicated a desire to work more closely with us on social and environmental initiatives.
  • In response to the National Business Initiative’s (NBI) interest in engaging our suppliers to identify energy savings opportunities in the supply chain we used feedback from our annual environmental survey to link the NBI with suppliers who indicated that they were focussed on implementing energy efficiency initiatives.
  • Following Conversation South Africa’s recommendation that we do more to acknowledge suppliers who have performed exceptionally well in our supplier advocacy surveys, we hosted Massmart ‘s first Environmental Supplier Awards ceremony where we recognised suppliers who have demonstrated an industry-leading commitment to sustainable supply chain management. This year Mondi South Africa was identified as the overall winner.
  • At the request of WWF: SASSI we facilitated a sustainable seafood site visit with our suppliers, Pioneer Foods, where we reviewed Pioneer Foods’ practices and sustainability approach. WWF: SASSI were impressed with Pioneer Food’s efforts and suggested that as a further action Pioneer, as well as other Massmart suppliers, consider adopting the WWF: SASSI Ensure Trawl Bycatch Programme.

On the basis of our stakeholder engagement over the course of 2014, we are satisfied that our existing accountability and stakeholder priorities remain relevant within the context of the broader public narrative and our commercial goals.



What we learned from our Stakeholders