Primark makes ethical trading pledge

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
31 May 2006

Discount retailer Primark has signed up to the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).

The company has committed to the ETI's base code, which provides pledges adherence to standards on wages, overtime, health and safety and other international labour requirements

In a statement, Dan Rees, ETI director, said: "Value retailers can make an important contribution to ethical trade. A company of Primark's stature joining us demonstrates a growing recognition that ethical trade makes good business sense."

The ETI builds on Primark's current ethical supplier code of conduct, which involves buyers visiting suppliers to ensure standards are met.

A spokesman for Associated British Foods, owner of Primark, said customers have been concerned about how the company can provide bargain products while maintaining an ethical supply chain.

However the company rejects the suggestion that joining the ETI is simply to obtain a "seal of approval". The spokesman told "Joining the ETI is a symbol of our intent to continuously improve our supply chain ethics, not just a badge of honour."

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