FAIR TRADE AND ETHICAL PRACTICES
We’re proud that many of our retail partners are committed to making a positive difference to both people and the planet. Fair trade and ethical sourcing is now a primary business focus for many retailers who are on a journey of continuous analysis, action and improvement.
Here are a few examples of our retailers who have made a commitment to fair trade and ethical practices:
THE COTTON ON GROUP (FACTORIE)
“As a global fashion business, we know we have a responsibility to do the right thing, and ensure our supply chain is both ethical and sustainable. Our Ethical Sourcing Program, including our 14 Rules to Trade, was formalised in 2009 and governs the sourcing, manufacturing and supply of our products. As part of this program, all suppliers who manufacture goods for the Group undergo periodic audit assessments, and based on the findings of these audits may be required to undertake corrective actions.
Over the last eight years, we have continued to build our program through the addition of new resources and initiatives, working closely with suppliers, industry leaders, government and NGOs to ensure our practises are reflective of industry standard. The Group is also working to trace our full end-to-end supply chain from farm gate to shop floor to ensure we have a full understanding of our supply chain and every facility used in the production of our merchandise.”
Visit their website to check out more about The Cotton On Group’s Ethical Framework.
SPECIALTY FASHION GROUP (MILLERS, KATIES, AUTOGRAPH)
“In 2014 we implemented our Vendor Code of Conduct which sets out SFG’s policies regarding the social, environmental and standard of compliance that we require from our business partners. We are committed to monitor and audit against this code, providing training and communication of our key initiatives.
In order to ensure quality and compliance of standards, we regularly conduct factory evaluation visits and conduct pre-production, inline and final inspections of product (either by SFG personnel or an appointed agent). SFG is authorised to access all our manufacturing facilities as required. We require full disclosure from all vendors of all their manufacturing plants and subcontractors for audit approval. We have introduced a third party independent auditing committee to conduct audits in addition to the internal audits we conduct ourselves.
We check the quality and compliance of factories by inspecting both the technical and social accountabilities of our vendors. We also monitor that workers are fairly paid and working hours adhere to the local laws.”
To read more about these and other ethical initiatives visit the Specialty Fashion Group website.
“Coles was the first Australian supermarket chain to adopt the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX), a global ethical supply chain management platform, in 2016. We directly monitor ethical sourcing risk and compliance with our Ethical Sourcing Policy. All direct supplier sites need to be registered on SEDEX. Direct supplier sites includes manufacturing sites for finished products, as well as those that process (or harvest) and pack to supply directly to Coles.
SEDEX is an internationally recognised platform that assesses risk in the supply chain. Coles Brand product, fresh produce and meat suppliers complete a comprehensive risk assessment questionnaire and based on this, they are rated as low, medium or high risk. Medium and high risk sites are then required to be audited by an independent external provider within time frames specified by Coles which vary depending on peak times for each industry. For example, our expectation for fresh produce is that audits would take place during harvest season when workers are on site.
We also carry out audits throughout our supply chains to confirm risk assessments, randomly check audit outcomes and respond to specific issues. Coles uses qualified independent auditors for these direct audits. We also work with our apparel suppliers to build strong relationships throughout our supply chain. The names and locations of the factories producing our Mix clothing range are available here.”
Find out more about Coles ethical sourcing policies here.
“We believe in earning our customers’ trust by acting responsibly and doing the right thing for our people, our customers, our communities and we expect the same from our suppliers. Woolworths is committed to upholding human rights, not only with respect to its own employees but also for workers in its supply chain.
Our Ethical Sourcing Policy encompasses comprehensive criteria on anti-corruption, labour rights, fair and safe working conditions, and environmental compliance. Woolworths is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and our Ethical Sourcing Policy embraces and enacts UNGC’s core values of human rights, labour standards, the environment and anti-corruption. Our Ethical Sourcing Policy respects and incorporates all relevant conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This Policy aims to communicate a clear set of requirements for our suppliers and work with them to:
• improve working conditions for workers in our supply chain, and
• protect our corporate reputation and the trust in our brands by doing the right thing.
We expect all our suppliers to respect and comply with the criteria set out in this Policy and we will continue to work with and support those suppliers who demonstrate continual improvement. We encourage our suppliers to be open and honest about the challenges they face so we can help them find practical solutions. However, repeated non-compliance may lead to review or termination of contracts. This Policy applies to all Woolworths suppliers no matter where they operate in the world and it is complemented by a compliance audit program predominantly for suppliers of our own brand products based on the risk rating of the country of origin.”
Find out more about ethical sourcing at Woolworths here.
“Kmart Australia aims to provide great products at irresistible prices for our customers while respecting human rights. We are on a journey to continuously improve our processes and ethical sourcing standards and are working closely with our suppliers, NGOs, unions and government representatives to ensure better working conditions in the countries and communities where we source.
We are committed to conducting business with the highest standards of integrity, in accordance with our international obligations and in compliance with all applicable laws and we work with suppliers who share and follow our high standards of conduct in whichever country they operate.
Kmart has joined Target Australia, our sister company within the Wesfarmers Group, to establish a combined Department Stores Ethical Sourcing Program. The ethical sourcing program is supported by our Ethical Sourcing Code (ESC), which includes minimum requirements and expectations that all suppliers must meet as a condition of doing business with Kmart and Target.
The ESC is based on our commitment to respecting the core labour standards established by the International Labour Organization (ILO), protecting and respecting human rights as set out in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and promoting environmental sustainability.
The ESC forms part of the contract with our suppliers and is supported by a rigorous audit program. We expect our suppliers to be honest and transparent in their dealings with us and to commit to making continuous improvements in their operations.”
Find out more about Kmart’s ethical sourcing code here.