By Castle Timbers

Castle Timber’s access to premium quality lumber – coupled with a highly-skilled staff component guarantees our superior product offerings. Established in 2009, the Castle Timbers team took on the shelving market with our slogans: ‘Your home is your castle’, and ‘Mad about wood’.

Image credit: Castle Timbers

Image credit: Castle Timbers

Over the years our exceptional quality shelving range has become a household brand-name throughout South Africa and recently, neighbouring African countries.

With the exponential growth of e-commerce on the global market coupled with our retail website, we believe that our shelving range is soon to be a household brand name on the international market as well. From small beginnings, the Castle Timbers brand has grown extensively – with dedicated office space and machinery to allow for increased shelving product ranges to satisfy customer and market needs.

Countless homes, schools, public buildings, and private businesses have purchased and installed our high quality 100% kiln dried SA pine shelving range.

In Nov 2019, the Castle Timbers Shelving Brand was selected by one of our key customers, Massbuild, to manufacture and supply their Private Label ‘SHELFMATE’. To succeed, Castle Timbers embarked on a stringent auditing process to get in line with the Walmart requirements.

The unfolding of the Audit process

From April to Aug 2020, Tony Tessendorf, our Key Account Manager, attended numerous Wallmart & Massbuild webinars to get more insight into the requirements necessary to get to a point of requesting an Audit by an Independent 3rd party – Partner Africa. With Covid-19 blocking the way, Tony managed to set an audit date for Oct 2020. The Audit was done on site at Retreat and after implementation of various policy related certificates as fulfillment of the Audit findings, he received the go-ahead from Partner Africa to publish their findings on the SEDEX website.

“Our shelving range is soon to be a household brand name on the international market as well.”

After having diligently followed the step-by-step process of accreditation through Walmart c/o SEDEX Tony received a mail in Dec 2020 from Massbuild Head Office, congratulating and complimenting MTO for having achieved a Green rating from Walmart – stating the following:

… Dear Tony,
“I want to congratulate you for receiving a Green rating on your recent audit that was conducted! I have never come across a South African facility that has received a Green rating on their first time round. You can be so proud of yourself and your team”

What is the Walmart accreditation Audit?

Walmart c/o Massbuild invites preferred suppliers to request accreditation through SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange). SEDEX is the largest collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data. SEDEX is a globally recognised innovative and effective supply chain management solution, helping to reduce risk, protect company reputations and improve supply chain practices.

What does the accreditation mean for MTO c/o Castle Timbers?

To continue as a preferred Supplier to the Massbuild Group, we had to pass the Audit. Having passed the Audit with a Green rating opens several new doors to the Massmart Group and easier access to Makro and other retail outlets. The Audit has already secured a 3-year PLA (Private Label Agreement) with Walmart which gives us security as a manufacturing unit..

Key elements that the Retreat site had to comply with:

The Audit was conducted by Partner Africa, in line with the Globally recognised SMETA Ethical Audit Programme. The Audit includes Labour Standards, Health & Safety compliance, Environmental Studies and Ethical Business Practices.

  • A CAPR (Corrective Action Plan) was filed & we were given 90 days to comply, implement and publish the following:
  • Training, implementation, display & conformance with the ETI Management Systems Code.
  • Training, implementation, display & conformance with the MTO Human Rights Policy.
  • Display of the Employment Equity Act in an area where staff frequent.
  • Display of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act in an area where staff frequent.

According to Tony, this achievement would not have been made possible without the dedication, commitment, patience, understanding, and support received from: Andrew Macdonald, Rushda Sulaiman, Pat Smith, and Ralph Andrag.