Blue Planet moment needed on trade


Ethical supply chain

Last month we wrote about consumer confusion following a proliferation of ethical labels. A varying and growing number of schemes offered by retailers and brands has led to consumers facing difficulty to make informed choices of which label to buy.

Michael Fletcher, chief commercial officer of Co-op retail, has insisted the increasing number of ethical schemes was muddying the waters for consumers.

Fletcher, who spoke at a Fairtrade conference last month, believes with so many labels and schemes available, there’s concern that consumers believe these issues are being dealt with. The reality is that fair pay and human rights for supply chain workers is still very much a problem.

What needs to happen?

Fletcher envisages a need for a consumer-led movement, as seen recently with Blue Planet showing the impact of plastic on the world’s oceans, in order to see change in existing supply chain models.

Manufacturers and policymakers are then likely to follow suit to work towards a living wage across the supply chain. The first step however, is to eliminate the label confusion consumers face.

How retailers are faring

This comes at a time where the onus on corporate social responsibility has risen in priority in the food industry.

Aldi plan to appoint a senior international director responsible for human and labour rights and according to The Grocer they are also set to publish an international human rights policy.

An Aldi spokeswoman to The Grocer assures they “have comprehensive policies in place to ensure everyone in their [our] supply chain who makes, grows and suppliers their [our] products is treated fairly.” Supermarkets such as Morrisons and Tesco are also following suit, already having commitments to the UN Guiding Principles on Human Rights.

By Becky Loader | Marketing Executive

Published: 2nd November 2018

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