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Coles names Jenny Linsten as new code arbiter for food and grocery

(Source: LinkedIn)

Coles has appointed Jenny Linsten as its arbiter for the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, effective February 15. She succeeds the Hon Jeff Kennett, who served as the company’s code arbiter for almost 10 years.

In her new role, Linsten will investigate and settle disputes between Coles and its suppliers. She will also provide feedback and recommendations to help improve the company’s practices. 

Linsten has over 30 years of experience in the legal and commercial sector, having worked as the general counsel and company secretary of the Ford Motor Company of Australia, lawyer at Clayton Utz, and principal of her own legal advisory practice – Jenny Linsten Legal.

“Coles’ ongoing commitment to an independent dispute resolution process gives suppliers and the public confidence that concerns are being heard and acted upon,” said Linsten.

“I recognise Coles’ leadership in this space and look forward to meeting and hearing from Coles’ suppliers through my role as Code Arbiter.”

Coles pioneered the Australian supermarket industry, being the first to adopt an arbitration process to help settle commercial disputes.

In addition, the company was instrumental in creating the Food and Grocery Conduct Code, becoming a foundation signatory in 2015. The voluntary industry code sets out standards of business conduct between grocery retailers and suppliers. 

Leah Weckert, CEO of Coles Group, emphasised the company’s dedication to fostering strong, long-term partnerships with its suppliers.

“The independent model, supported by the Code Arbiter, is an important mechanism to ensure trust and transparency throughout the grocery sector and is an avenue for suppliers to address any issues,” said Weckert.

“We would like to thank Jeff for his contribution over the past ten years and throughout the Code’s evolution and for his part in enacting a robust, fair and timely supplier dispute resolution process.”

“Jenny brings a wealth of experience from the legal and commercial sectors, and we look forward to working with her from February,” she added.

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