17 November 2005
Buyers must take responsibility for promoting an ethical supply chain, a pressure group has urged global retailers and brands.
Dan Rees, director of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), an alliance of firms, NGOs and trade union groups, was speaking at the launch of a scheme to educate executives about the impact of their decisions on workers in supply chains.
"Often a company's responsibility to promote workers' rights is confined to an ethical trading department that is ignored by decision-makers such as buyers, designers and strategists," he said.
Rees added that unethical buying could also affect product quality, lead times and cost. The scheme, launched by ETI and the Cooperative College, will cater for 200 people next year.
College chair David Gibson said the training looked "past just auditing" to create a complete strategy including supplier relationship management, workers' rights and more.