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2 August 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
The Co-operative Group (Co-op) has introduced a ‘supplier performance matrix’ to monitor the performance of its own-brand food suppliers.
The matrix was initially trialled with seven suppliers to measure performance in areas including ethics, environmental impact and product development. It was then modified and introduced to the majority of own-brand food suppliers in autumn 2011. The matrix was part of a 2011 goal from the Co-op’s Ethical Plan, which detailed its sustainability targets. This year’s target is to further develop systems and training programmes in the food business to understand the impact on workers and communities.
According to Inspiring Through Co-operation: Sustainability Report 2011, the Co-op achieved 62 of its 104 targets, missed seven, dropped one and has 34 in progress. The report stated the food retail arm of the business now sources 100 per cent of own-brand products for eggs, milk, fresh and frozen poultry, beef and pig meat from the UK.
Own-brand food product suppliers are expected to adhere to the Co-Op’s ‘sound sourcing code of conduct,’ which sets out the labour standards suppliers must meet. Supplier’s compliance to these standards is monitored through the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX). As of December 2011, all suppliers must join SEDEX to do business with the Co-op.