LANGDON Group Limited (ABN 34 004 116 241) and its Australian subsidiaries including H.J. Langdon & Co Pty Ltd (ABN 89 006 641 701), Bakery Craft Pty Ltd (ABN 31 126 903 857), The Natural Food Trading Company Pty Ltd (ABN 82 162 097 387).
Adopted by the Board of Langdon Group Limited April 2022
LANGDON Group Limited (ABN 34 004 116 241) and its Australian subsidiaries including H.J. Langdon & Co Pty Ltd (ABN 89 006 641 701), Bakery Craft Pty Ltd (ABN 31 126 903 857), The Natural Food Trading Company Pty Ltd (ABN 82 162 097 387) (collectively, LANGDON) are committed to complying with all applicable laws and maintaining strong principles of corporate governance and ethical standards of conduct across the LANGDON business.
This commitment applies to all LANGDON’s interactions with employees, contractors, customers, suppliers, the community, other stakeholders and the broader environment within which LANGDON operates.
The purpose of this Whistleblower Policy (this Policy) is:
- to encourage the reporting of wrongdoing that may cause loss to LANGDON or damage to LANGDON’s reputation, or may cause harm to others;
- to establish effective reporting and investigation mechanisms within LANGDON;
- to enable LANGDON to effectively deal with reports from Disclosing Persons in a way that will protect the identity of the Disclosing Persons and provide for the security of the information provided; and
- to notify Disclosing Persons of the protection they are entitled to under the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act) and this Policy in respect of Reportable Conduct.
A copy of this Policy will be made available via the LANGDON (QMS) intranet and website at hjlangdon.com.
This Whistleblower Policy is applicable to all Disclosing Persons.
An individual is a Disclosing Person if they are or have been:
- an officer or employee of LANGDON;
- a supplier of services or goods to LANGDON (whether paid or unpaid) including their employees;
- an associate of LANGDON; or
- a relative, dependant or spouse of a person in the above categories.
This Policy is designed to complement LANGDON’s existing policies. There are also protections within this Policy for any employees who are the subject of a disclosure under this Policy.
MATTERS REPORTED UNDER THIS POLICY:
LANGDON encourages Disclosing Persons to make a report under this Policy if they suspect on reasonable grounds that there has been any misconduct, or improper state of affairs or circumstances, which has occurred or arisen in relation to LANGDON or any of LANGDON’s officers or employees (Reportable Conduct). If a person is considering making a report under this Policy they are encouraged to seek their own legal advice. Disclosures to a legal practitioner for the purposes of obtaining legal advice or legal representation in relation to the operation of the whistleblower provisions of the Corporations Act are also protected under the Corporations Act. Guidance on the Policy generally can also be sought from Langdon Whistleblower Protection Officer.
Reportable Conduct may include (but is not limited to) any conduct which:
- is dishonest or fraudulent, e.g., falsifying financial records or recording transactions without substance or merit.
- is a breach of any laws or is otherwise unlawful, e.g., engaging in bribery to any third party such as a supplier or government official; engaging in deceptive conduct in order to gain an improper advantage for oneself or any other person; engaging in theft, drug trafficking or use, violence or threatened violence, or damage to property;
- is an abuse by an individual of their authority or position within LANGDON, e.g. dealing inappropriately with junior staff or misusing confidential or proprietary information of LANGDON;
- is unethical or otherwise breaches any of LANGDON’s policies which relate to discrimination, harassment, bullying, workplace violence, modern slavery, vilification or victimisation;
- may be harmful or damaging to LANGDON, any of LANGDON’s employees or contractors, or a third party, such as through unsafe or inappropriate work practices, environmental damage, public health and safety risk, or grossly misusing LANGDON’s property or resources; or
- may cause financial loss to LANGDON or compromise LANGDON’s reputation or may otherwise be detrimental to LANGDON’s interests.
This Policy does not apply to matters which relate solely to personal work-related grievances and do not involve detriment or threatened detriment to a person because of an actual or proposed disclosure under this Policy.
A personal work-related grievance is a grievance about a matter which relates to the Disclosing Person’s employment or former employment with LANGDON which only has implications for that individual personally. For example, this could include an interpersonal conflict between the Disclosing Person and another employee of the LANGDON, a decision relating to the engagement, transfer, promotion or termination of the engagement of the Disclosing Person, a decision about the terms and conditions of the engagement of the Disclosing Person or a decision to suspend or terminate the engagement of the Disclosing Person or to discipline them.
A report about a personal work-related grievance may still qualify for protection if it includes information about Reportable Conduct.
Disclosures under this Policy can be made to any Eligible Recipient. An Eligible Recipient is:
- a Senior Manager of LANGDON;
- an auditor or actuary of LANGDON;
- MAZARS (Accounting and Tax) Phone: +61 3 9252 0800
- Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment 1800 900 090
- SAI (BRC) 1300 360 314
- ACO (Organic) +61 7 3350 5706
- any other person expressly authorised by LANGDON to receive disclosures that qualify for protection.
The Whistleblower Protection Officer can also receive disclosures from Disclosing Persons via the details set out below:
Employees of LANGDON and contractors working within LANGDON can choose to file a report internally to LANGDON’s Whistleblower Protection Office.
Phone: (+61) 3 8360 1987 to leave a message
Post: Attention ‘Whistleblower Protection Officer’, 525 Mt Derrimut Rd Derrimut 3026, Australia
Disclosure of Reportable Conduct can also be made to:
- A journalist or a parliamentarian in certain situations. Such a disclosure will qualify for protection if it meets the criteria under the Corporations Act for public interest or emergency disclosures. You should contact your own legal adviser before making a public interest or emergency disclosure; and
- Certain regulatory bodies and other external parties authorised under the Corporations Act including but not limited to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Taxation Office.
HOW WILL REPORTS BE INVESTIGATED?
All reports will be investigated by the Whistleblower Investigation Officer thoroughly and as soon as practicable upon receiving a report. In some circumstances, the Whistleblower Investigation Officer may appoint either an appropriate internal resource or external provider to assist with the investigation.
The Whistleblower Investigation Officer will be:
- Any employee of LANGDON as determined by the Whistleblower Protection Officer as appropriately skilled to investigate the disclosure;
The investigation process itself will vary depending on the nature of the alleged Reportable Conduct and the amount of information provided by the Disclosing Person in his/her report. Each report made under this Policy will first need to be assessed to determine whether it qualifies for protection under this Policy and whether a formal, in-depth investigation is required.
Investigations will be conducted in a fair and impartial manner and may involve gathering further evidence by interviewing witnesses and/or the individuals under investigation. In all cases, the Whistleblower Investigation Officer will take reasonable steps to maintain, and procure the maintenance by other persons of, the confidentiality of the investigation and the individuals concerned in accordance with this Policy.
Employees that are the subject of a disclosure will be provided with a fair opportunity to address any allegations concerning their conduct. The employees will, where appropriate, be given the opportunity to bring a support person to any interviews or meetings held by the Whistleblower Investigation Officer in accordance with this Policy.
Disclosing Persons will be updated on the progress of the investigation where possible.
The Key Roles and Responsibilities are set out in section 11.
PROTECTIONS AVAILABLE TO WHISTLEBLOWERS:
LANGDON is committed to ensuring that all Disclosing Persons who make a report under this Policy are treated fairly and are not subjected to any detrimental treatment as a result of making a report. Disclosing Persons will receive the protections available under the Corporations Act provided that they make a disclosure of Reportable Conduct to an Eligible Recipient (or to any other entity as authorised under this Policy or the Corporations Act, such as your legal adviser), whether or not the disclosure is made anonymously. Protections are as summarised below.
Disclosing Persons are not required to provide their name or any other identifying information when making a report under this Policy. If Disclosing Persons provide such details in connection with a report, except in strict circumstances provided for under the relevant laws, they are entitled to have their identity (including any information that is likely to lead to their identification) kept confidential and it is illegal for a person to breach this right of the Disclosing Person.
LANGDON will use its best endeavours to ensure that all documents and materials relating to a report made under this Policy are stored securely and that all persons involved in the handling and investigation of a report are appropriately qualified and are reminded of their confidentiality obligations under this Policy.
While protecting confidentiality is a priority, there may be situations where an investigation may not be able to be undertaken if contact with the Disclosing Person cannot be made (e.g. if a report has been made anonymously and no contact details for the Disclosing Person have been provided).
In addition to Disclosing Persons’ rights under the Corporations Act, where it is not possible to maintain complete anonymity in connection with an investigation, LANGDON may at its discretion allow Disclosing Persons to take a temporary leave of absence or may provide other forms of support.
Disclosing Persons are entitled to protection from any actual or threatened detriment to Disclosing Persons or to a third person (e.g. a friend, colleague, or family member) for making a relevant report.
Detriment includes dismissal of employment, injury in employment, disadvantageous alteration to position or duties, discrimination, harassment or intimidation, harm or injury (including psychological harm), or damage of any kind (including damage to property, reputation, or business or financial position).
Where practicable, LANGDON will endeavour to protect Disclosing Persons from detrimental acts or omissions by monitoring and managing the behaviour of other employees in the workplace, relocating employees to a different team or location and/or offering support services to the Disclosing Persons.
If Disclosing Persons believe that they have been subjected to actual or threatened detriment in connection with a report made under this Policy, they should immediately report the alleged detrimental conduct to the Whistleblower Protection Officer. The Whistleblower Protection Officer (or if appropriate, an internal or external resource appointed by the Whistleblower Protection Officer) will investigate the alleged detrimental conduct and report their findings to LANGDON. If appropriate, LANGDON will address the detrimental conduct, such as by taking disciplinary action against the perpetrator(s).
Further, under the Corporations Act, a Disclosing Person may be able to seek compensation and other remedies through the courts if the Disclosing Person suffers loss, damage or injury because of a report made under this Policy and LANGDON failed to take reasonable precautions and exercise due diligence to prevent the relevant detrimental conduct. Disclosing Persons should seek their own legal advice in this regard
Disclosing Persons are entitled to certain statutory immunities, including:
- immunity from any civil, criminal or administrative legal action (including disciplinary action) for making the disclosure;
- no contractual or other remedy may be enforced, and no contractual or other right may be exercised, against Disclosing Persons on the basis of the disclosure; and
- in some circumstances, the information disclosed will not be admissible in evidence against Disclosing Persons in criminal proceedings or in proceedings for the imposition of a penal
MALICOUS REPORTING AND BREACH OF CONFIDENTIALITY:
LANGDON will treat any malicious report as a serious matter and will render the person concerned subject to disciplinary proceedings in accordance with the LANGDON’s relevant policies.
Given the importance of confidentiality to the effective management of this Policy, a breach of the confidentiality obligations under this Policy will also be subject to disciplinary action
Breach of this Policy will be considered misconduct and may lead to disciplinary action including possible termination of employment, or engagement. An individual who breaches this Policy may also be subject to civil or criminal action
This Policy and the contact details of the Whistleblower Protection Officer will continually be prominently displayed and circulated throughout Langdon and publicised to customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.
The commitment of LANGDON to complying with all applicable laws, strong corporate governance and impeccable standards of conduct and the aims and content of this Policy and LANGDON’s policies will be communicated to employees and contractors during inductions and other relevant training programmes, together with practical advice on identifying and preventing any improper conduct which may be reportable under this Policy.
INTERNAL REPORTING AND COMPLIANCE:
Subject to confidentiality and privacy considerations, the Whistleblower Protection Officer will prepare quarterly reports to the Food Safety Culture Team under a standard agenda item which has governance oversight.
These reports are also reviewed by the Board. This Policy will be reviewed periodically and varied if necessary.
KEY ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Whistleblower Protection Officer – the designated LANGDON employee with responsibility for:
- accepting reports
- protecting Disclosing Persons from detriment
- ensuring fair treatment for any employees mentioned in a disclosure
- acts as a point of escalation for Disclosing Persons if the disclosure has not been dealt with fairly or in accordance with this Policy.
Whistleblower Investigation Officer
- responsible for conducting preliminary investigations into reports received from Disclosing Persons.
- interviewing witnesses
- making recommendations and reporting on findings
Rights to Privacy
In handling your personal information, we are required to comply with the Privacy Act 1998 (Cth) (‘Act’) and any privacy principles enacted under the Act. This policy may be updated from time to time.
Personal information is information that identifies an individual or from which an individual’s identity can reasonably be ascertained.
Collection of statistical information
When you use our website, we may collect statistical information relating to your use of this website, including:
- your server address;
- your IP address;
- your top-level domain name (for example .com, .gov, .au, .uk etc);
- the pages you accessed and documents downloaded;
- the website you visited immediately prior to accessing this website;
- your navigation patterns;
- and, the type of browser you are using.
Statistical information on its own may not necessarily identify an individual and may not constitute personal information. However, it provides us with statistics that we can use to analyze and improve our website.
Collection of personal information
Depending on your use of our website, we may collect personal information relating to you. The kinds of personal information that we may collect include your name, date of birth, address, e-mail address, and telephone numbers.
How do we collect personal information?
Generally, we collect your personal information directly from you, by requesting that you provide your personal information when you fill out an application form or other similar document or submit information to us via our website. There may be other occasions when we collect your personal information from you or from other sources, such as from a publicly maintained record, from an information services provider or from a related business of Langdon Ingredients.
Why do we need your personal information?
We collect your personal information for the purposes of:
(a) providing access to our website and other related services;
(b) responding to queries and feedback you submit to us;
(c) processing your subscription to our newsletter(s);
(d) facilitating our internal business operations;
(e) providing you with information about our products and services that may be of interest to you; and
(f) any other legal requirements which we must comply with.
You are under no obligation to provide your personal information to us. However, without receiving certain information from you, we may not be able to provide our services to you.
Who do we disclose your personal information to?
We disclose your personal information for the purpose for which we collect it or where you have consented to us disclosing this information. The types of organisations to which we may disclose the personal information you provide us with include:
(a) any third party service provider which we may engage to provide administration, process payments, technology, auditing, mailing, printing or other services;
(b) our related bodies corporate and partner organisations, including Langdon Ingredients, Bakery Craft, Langdon Coffee Merchants; The Natural Foods Trading Company; and Henry Langdon.
(c) Government authorities where required to by law; and
(d) our professional advisers (including legal and accounting firms, auditors, consultants and other advisers).
Security of your personal information
We will take reasonable steps to ensure that the personal information we hold is protected against misuse, loss, unauthorised access, modification, or disclosure.
Can you access the personal information that we hold about you?
Under the Act, you have a right to access your personal information that is collected and held by us. If at any time you would like to access or change the personal information we hold about you, or you would like more information on our approach to privacy, please let us know.
To obtain access to your personal information, we may request that you provide us with proof of your identity. This is necessary to ensure that personal information is provided only to the correct individuals and that the privacy of others is protected.
We will take all reasonable steps to provide access to your personal information within 30 days from your request.
If providing you with such access requires a detailed retrieval of your personal information, a fee may be charged for the cost of such retrieval and supply of information.
How to contact us
For further information or inquiries regarding your personal information, please contact Langdon Privacy Compliance Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our online contact form.
Please direct all privacy complaints to Langdon Privacy Compliance Manager. At all times, privacy complaints:
- will be treated seriously;
- will be dealt with promptly;
- will be dealt with in a confidential manner;
- and will not affect your existing obligations or,
- affect the commercial arrangements between you and us.
The Privacy Compliance Manager will commence an investigation into your complaint. You will be informed of the outcome of your complaint following the completion of the investigation. In the event you are dissatisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you may refer the complaint to the Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner.