Partners collaborate on new ethical and sustainable procurement guide to improve working conditions for thousands around the world

CIPS 5 November 2013

Traidcraft, CIPS and the Walk Free Foundation have launched the guide in response to the human cost of sourcing cheaper goods in an increasingly competitive and complex global economy.

The guide, Ethical and Sustainable Procurement, is designed to help buyers who may unknowingly be sourcing from companies operating outside the law or subjecting workers to poor wages and inhumane conditions or in forced labour environments. The guide forms part of the initiative between CIPS and Walk Free Foundation to eradicate modern slavery in supply chains.

The document offers guidance on the procurement cycle including identifying vulnerability and risk, evaluating and shortlisting suppliers, creation of contract performance and updating ethical procurement programmes. It contains useful practical information on how to communicate with suppliers from other regions in the world and highlights potential social and cultural differences.

Walk Free Foundation’s Global Slavery Index estimates there are 29.8 million people who are trapped in modern day slavery and the International Labour Organisation believes that business and governments are largely responsible for this.

CIPS Group CEO David Noble commented, “The increase in global sourcing has led to an increase in serious issues being discovered in procurement practices, in particular the occurrence in the supply chain, unwittingly or otherwise, of modern slavery.  We have to make a step change as a profession to make a real difference in business and society.”

Andrew Forrest Chairman of Fortescue Metals and Founder of Walk Free Foundation said: “The slavery industry generates over $32 billion in profits globally. Businesses around the world have their part to play in ensuring slavery is eradicated from their supply chain. The first step is asking the question – that is – doing a supply chain audit, and that is where procurement officers can show true leadership on the issue.”

Mags Vaughan Chief Executive of Traidcraft added, "Purchasers have a crucial role to play in ensuring their actions enable good working conditions. Good planning, sufficient lead times, paying enough for workers to earn a living wage, and prompt payments are key enablers for suppliers to be able to employ their workers with good conditions.  

“This guide provides practical pointers for purchasers to use. We hope that senior management and chief executives will set objectives and incentives which reward their buyers for selecting suppliers with good conditions for their workers, and those buyers who purchase in a way which enables suppliers to plan and provide good working conditions."

Anyone with responsibility for procurement and supply chain management is urged to read the guide available on the Traidcraft and CIPS websites.


Notes to editors

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) is the world’s largest procurement and supply professional organisation.  It is the worldwide centre of excellence on purchasing and supply management issues.  CIPS has a global community of 100,000 in 150 different countries, including senior business people, high-ranking civil servants and leading academics.  The activities of purchasing and supply chain professionals have a major impact on the profitability and efficiency of all types of organisation and CIPS offers corporate solutions packages to improve business profitability.  


Traidcraft’s vision is of a world freed from the scandal of poverty, where trade is just and people and communities can flourish.  Established in 1979, Traidcraft fights poverty through trade, helping people in developing countries to transform their lives. Charity Traidcraft Exchange runs development programmes in some of the poorest countries in the world, and campaigns in the UK and internationally to bring about trade justice.

Traidcraft contacts are:


Walk Free Foundation

The Walk Free Foundation is a global organisation with a mission to end modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business and raising unprecedented levels of capital to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for modern slavery today.

The Walk Free Foundation will do this by:

•  Identifying countries and industries most responsible for modern slavery;

•  Identify and implement with partners the interventions in those countries and industries that will have the greatest impact on modern slavery; and

•  Critically assess our impact.

For more information, contact: Trudy Salandiak, Public Relations Manager, CIPS, on +44 (0) 1780 761575/0755 4400731.

Global Slavery Index:

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