1 Aug 2021

Little progress on charter to improve supply chain transport safety

3:20 pm on 1 August 2021

Moves by supermarkets and other big retailers to set up a charter to improve the safety of transportation in their supply chains are on hold.

Horizontal shot of a generic white tractor trailer truck on a highway.

File photo. Photo: 123RF

In other countries like Australia, charters have been adopted by supermarkets to try to boost safety standards for truck drivers delivering goods.

Truck crashes figure high as a cause of work-related harm in this country.

The local industry lobby group ShopCare says on its website it was trying to set up a trial group for a charter, to create a minimum safety standard for transport including buyers, receivers and suppliers.

"These controls will contribute to a sector-aligned charter with the intention of reducing high levels of harm over time and creating long-lasting cultural change," it said.

It had invited companies to take part.

But when asked for an update on this, ShopCare says this has not happened.

"We can advise you that this tranche of work is currently on hold and has not been initiated yet," said its chief executive Liz May.

"We have been in discussion with various industry partners and aren't able to provide any other details at this point."

The major grocery retailers have charters containing principles for how they interact with suppliers, but these are not specific to transport.

The Commerce Commission's draft report into supermarkets this week says small suppliers don't have confidence in these charters.

There was a "power imbalance" in how industry negotiated these self-regulated charters, and the Government might need to step in, the report said.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs