Integrated Annual Report 2021
Integrated Annual Report 2021
Ethics and compliance
Our Group-wide Code of Conduct (Code), that was revised and launched in February 2021, assists associates to make decisions that are consistent with our values which in turn earn and build trust.



Ethics landscape

Our Code, that was revised and launched in February 2021, assists associates to make decisions that are consistent with our values which in turn earn and build trust. It also informs associates about the behaviours we expect of them and where to get more information or support when dealing with daily situations. We expect our suppliers, vendors, service providers and other business partners to also act with integrity and honour our values. All stakeholders are invited to utilise our independently operated Ethics Line to report suspected breaches of our Code.


Compliance landscape

As highlighted in our Code, Massmart is committed to a robust culture of integrity and ethics. To further solidify this commitment, we have designed and implemented 14 compliance programmes. This ensures that we not only comply with legal requirements of the countries we operate in, but also to leverage global best practices made available to us through our relationship with Walmart. This includes access to systems and practices such as our Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI), comprehensive responsible sourcing programmes and Global Life Safety Initiative.

Massmart has focused on implementing substantive compliance programmes that are led by a diverse team of subject matter experts in the following fields:

  • Anti-Corruption/The USA FCPA
  • Food Safety
  • Anti-Money Laundering
  • Labour and Employment
  • Antitrust
  • Licences and Permits
  • Consumer Protection
  • Privacy/Data Protection
  • Environmental Compliance
  • Product Safety
  • Ethics
  • Trade (Import/Exports)
  • Health and Safety
  • Responsible Sourcing


Health and Safety

The health and safety of our associates and customers has always been a key priority for Massmart. This programme is designed using a behaviour-based safety framework which emphasises the importance of people, processes and systems which is further crafted around a risk-based approach.

During 2021 this programme and its relevance was tested as we navigated exceptional circumstances which included three waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, the civil unrest and various levels of strike actions. Throughout these events we focused on ensuring that our associates and customers had the safest working and shopping experience by adopting and maintaining, amongst others, robust Covid-19 protocols. Various levels of assurance and monitoring were introduced and sustained to ensure we continually improve our environment and address changes in risk and regulations.

During the year we also focused on ensuring the health and safety of our associates who were impacted by the civil unrest in the Gauteng and KZN provinces of South Africa. This included ensuring the safety of our customers and associates following the impacts the chemical fire from the civil unrest had on our Makro Cornubia store and its operations.


Food Safety

Massmart has a comprehensive Food Safety programme that is designed to mitigate risks throughout its complex food supply chain, from source to shelf. Our Food Safety programme also includes product and environmental testing, food fraud testing, product recalls, regulatory inspection management and food safety training and monitoring programmes.

We also work closely with all our Private Brand suppliers to implement a GFSI programme. Regular product testing is conducted by a SANAS-accredited laboratory at both product and store level to ensure compliance with our food safety standards. Our Group-owned manufacturing sites are all GFSI certified against the FCCS 22000 standard.

Additionally, our programme includes regular food safety audits conducted by an independent third-party throughout all of our facilities, which include stores, manufacturing sites and DCs. A new and more rigorous audit was introduced in 2021 to enhance our current programme and identify risks. Massmart has achieved an overall audit pass rate of 93% for the third and fourth quarters of 2021. Improvements made as a result of these new audits include automated Fridge Watch processes and the redesign of operational processes resulting in enhanced Food Safety practices.


Responsible Sourcing

We are thoughtful about the products we sell to our customers and recognise our responsibility in ensuring that they are sourced from ethically responsible suppliers and manufacturers. We want our customers to trust that we are selling responsibly sourced and sustainable products, from both an environmental and social perspective.

Our Standards for Suppliers (our Standards) sets our expectations to our suppliers. We promote responsible labour practices in our supply chain and help combat practices such as forced labour, under-age labour and unsafe working conditions. Our Standards require our manufacturers and suppliers to disclose their supply chains which enhances transparency and enables us to comprehensively evaluate their supply chains.

We actively monitor and audit our Private Brand and Direct Import suppliers’ facilities for compliance with our Standards. Our programme supports the integration of responsible sourcing practices into our merchant strategies, processes, systems and buying decisions, which includes the selection of suppliers and development of new products. Merchants and sourcing associates receive training that helps them understand how their decisions can influence supply chain conditions and the role they can play in reinforcing appropriate working practices with suppliers.


Data Privacy

The responsibility to ensure we protect our stakeholders’ personal information is a key focus area for Massmart. We have a comprehensive Data Privacy programme in place ensuring that we have systems and processes in place to adhere to the Protection of Personal Information Act. In addition, we actively monitor our environment for any vulnerabilities to new and emerging threats and regularly conduct breach preparedness simulations.