Choppies Risk Management
Risk management remains integral in the day-to-day operation of our business. In the ordinary course of business the group is exposed to a wide range of risks that may have serious consequences for our operations and performance, and therefore our sustainability. Effective management of this supports the delivery of our objectives and achievement of sustainable growth. At board level the audit and risk committee is responsible for monitoring risk management, including identifying areas of risk which may impact the group and suggesting appropriate controls for mitigation.
During the year an internal audit department was introduced. In the year ahead this will be further equipped to function as a fully fledged internal audit department capable of covering most operational and financial risks to which the business is exposed. In addition, in the year under review, the senior management team attended a risk workshop. Risks are identified and recorded in a risk register and designated “avoidable” or “manageable”. Risks are generally categorised into strategic and operational risks. The risk register is a working document which is updated and amended on a regular basis.
Choppies is committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and corporate governance practices in order to maintain excellence in its daily operations, and to promote confidence in our governing systems. Choppies recognises the importance of protecting all of our human, financial, physical, social, and environmental assets and thus commits to conducting business in an open, honest, and ethical manner. Currently, Choppies is the leading employer of persons living with disabilities, with the total number having reached 128 employees (May 2015) throughout the whole of Botswana. This is an average of two persons living with disability employed per store.
Over the years, Choppies has been recognised as a company doing the most for Economic Empowerment in Botswana (PMR Awards). Moreover, as part of supporting Citizen Empowerment, Choppies has adopted a collaborative partnership with local farmers. Over the past few years Choppies has invested in a number of horticultural development projects in Botswana with the farming community. Choppies assists the farmers to procure agricultural machinery, modern farming technology and agricultural fertilisers. This has created more than 350 hectares of new farming area and contributed to increasing their agricultural production. Almost 75% of fresh produce in Botswana is distributed through Choppies outlets. In this endeavour Choppies partnered with the farming community in the Tuli block area and Kgatleng. We are in the process of replicating this program in South Africa and Zimbabwe
Choppies has adapted a strategic model in terms of CSR; tailor making corporate social responsibility projects based on National deficiency trends. This has seen the group particularly focus on current inadequacies in Botswana. Typically, needs have been seen to be seasonal, some years due to environmental circumstances like lack of rain poverty levels rise making it imminent for Choppies to focus on poverty eradication programs. This has made it easy for Choppies to maintain a healthy and sustainable CSR program.
In South Africa, Choppies has collaborated with the W&R SETA (Wholesale & Retail Sector Education and Training Authority) and the University of Pretoria to have members of black management attend the Retail Management Development Programme (RMDP). The RMDP is a world-class program that combines practical and theoretical elements of retailing to take supervisor-level retail staff and equip them with skills to take on independent managerial charge of a retail store. Black female talent has been benefiting from this program and Choppies, being groomed to add to the corps of black store managers in Choppies South Africa.