Our suppliers are business partners who provide our system with materials, including ingredients, packaging and machinery, as well as goods and services. Our Company's Supplier Guiding Principles (SGP) communicate our values and expectations, emphasizing the importance of responsible environmental and workplace policies and practices.
Suppliers' policies and practices must comply, at a minimum, with all applicable laws and regulations, including those concerning child labor; forced labor; abuse of labor; freedom of association and collective bargaining; discrimination; wages and benefits; working hours and overtime; health and safety and environmental practices. New agreements with suppliers require compliance with our SGP. We have communicated these expectations, trained suppliers and started a comprehensive auditing process. In 2007, we conducted 1,313 supplier audits, a 28 percent increase since 2006. We have also worked with our bottling partners so that they have similar principles to target suppliers not covered by our program.
We seek to better understand the impact of the
Our customers are continually looking for ways to reduce costs, improve sales and profits, and deliver better-quality, more diverse products to consumers. We work to create additional value for our customers by anticipating their demands and interests and to proactively deliver viable solutions for their businesses.
In Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America,
Collaborative Customer Relationship Process
Our Collaborative Customer Relationship process has been refined in three lead markets -- Japan, Mexico and Switzerland -- and is now being implemented with key customers in other markets around the world. We work with our customers to improve shopper marketing and supply chain collaboration and to accelerate innovation in order to provide superior beverage selections to every consumer on every shopping trip.
Customer Development and Training
We provide support to smaller customers to help make their businesses more efficient and profitable. In Latin America, for example, we have established customer development training centers, the largest ones in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru.
We also work with customers to broaden the range of beverages they offer, provide nutritional information and ensure our beverages are marketed responsibly.