24 May 2001 | Robin Parker
Cadbury Schweppes has launched a series of studies of its supply chain as part of a review of ethical trading practices.
The studies are initially centred around the cocoa supply chain in Ghana. Cadbury will investigate the extent to which its human rights and ethical trading policy is being implemented among suppliers. Labour rights, health and safety, remuneration policies and workplace discrimination will all be scrutinised, a spokeswoman told SM.
"The programme involves detailed consultations and the provision of advice to our supply chain partners to ensure high standards across all areas from which we derive our raw materials," she said.
The projects are conducted in collaboration with the Corporate Citizenship Company (CCC), a consultancy specialising in ethical matters, which was commissioned in January to audit Cadbury's supply chain.
Peter Truesdale, a consultant at CCC, said that transparent ethical supply practices are increasingly important for international companies. "It is vital that the whole organisation is checked," he said.
"When the range of products and supplies is drawn from different markets, this can become highly complex."
Ethical practices have been the subject of renewed extensive media debate since a ship suspected of containing child slaves went missing after leaving the Ivory Coast in April. Cadbury was vocal at the time in urging an end to child labour on African cocoa plantations.