Malawi’s largest alcoholic beverages producer, Castel Malawi engaged its stakeholders in all the three regions of the country where they were trained on due diligence, compliance, and corporate social responsibility strategy.
The training was organized to ensure that the stakeholders adhere to ethical standards, legal requirements, good governance, and operational efficiencies.
Castel Malawi Director of Corporate Affairs Gloria Zimba said they decided to meet its stakeholders, which included business partners and suppliers to ensure that all players are ethical in their business conduct, as regards compliance to business policies and procedures of Castel Malawi.
“One of the pillars of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at Castel Malawi is to ‘increase compliance throughout the value chain’ hence, Castel Malawi is committed to provide training on the code of conduct, due diligence, as well as to share our CSR strategy.”
“We are happy that we received very good feedback. The sessions went on well in Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre. We are grateful to our stakeholders for attending these meetings and training sessions. For Castel Malawi, public image on what we are doing in terms of social responsibility projects can influence among other things; our competitive advantage and our corporate reputation.” said Zimba.
On due diligence, Zimba said the participants were briefed on how the procedure has been integrated within the existing processes.
“The participants were taken through the procedure for conducting a Due Diligence Process to identify high risk suppliers as defined in our standards. In addition, participants were given a demonstration on the type of assessment questions that the company uses, the assessment criteria, contractual and support measures taken, in case of non-compliance,” explained Zimba.
Speaking during the stakeholder engagement in Blantyre, Castel Malawi Head of Legal and Company Secretary Chipiliro Kauka said in 2019, the Castel Group introduced a Compliance Program to ensure that its subsidiaries adhere to ethical standards, legal requirements, good governance, and operational efficiency.
She said the Group introduced the Code of Conduct which is applicable to all employees in all subsidiaries but noted that there are some principles which apply to their business partners (Suppliers and Distributors) like Whistleblowing, Conflict of Interest, Bribery and Trading of Influences, Compliance with laws and regulations and others.
Kauka gave several examples where major companies and corporations have been fined and charged hefty amounts, some as far as US$1 billion for non-compliance.
“So, you should know that as our suppliers or business partners, anything you do that is not compliant with the law, may end up affecting us as a company and when we are in trouble, it may mean that you are also in trouble because you will not be able to do business when we are shut down,” said Kauka.
One of the stakeholders Peter Mvalo, who is Sales Manager for Hartfield Investments hailed Castel Malawi for organizing the stakeholders meeting and the training sessions, saying the company is ‘serious’ in its conduct of business by including its partners to be compliant to laws and regulations.