International food and drink group Princes has announced that it has achieved full membership of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a leading global alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers’ rights around the globe.
The award of full membership recognises Princes rapid progress in its ethical trade strategy addressing supply chain issues, leading by example through regular senior-level engagement and work to pursue and encourage social sustainability in the Italian tomato supply chain.
ETI membership is conferred to companies that have demonstrated they have adopted a commitment to ethical trade through a code of labour practice that they expect all their suppliers to work towards. These codes address a diverse range of issues such as fair wages, hours of work, health and safety and the right to join free trade unions.
The announcement of full ETI membership follows a number of recent milestone achievements towards the business’ focus on being a Fair Partner and Good Employer. At the end of the 2017 Italian tomato season, 81 percent of farms in the Princes supply chain held either Global Gap GRASP or SA8000 accreditation, and 87 percent of all the tomatoes Princes processed came from an accredited source. Princes has committed to increasing this figure to 100 percent in 2018.
Earlier this year, the business also announced it is on track to supply 100% responsibly sourced tuna by the end of 2019 for all brands in all territories, having already reached the level of 90% at the end of 2017. Princes’ two tuna processing sites in Mauritius also both hold SA8000 certification for social accountability.
David McDiarmid, Corporate Relations Director for Princes, said: “We are very pleased to have achieved this recognition from the Ethical Trading Initiative, particularly as this has been reached 12 months ahead of our initial target date for doing so. This status reflects the collective focus and drive we have demonstrated in working towards embedding ethical trade within our business. “While we are pleased with this progress, we are not at all complacent. We take a partnership-led approach to our relationships with suppliers, many of whom are setting outstanding examples in ethical compliance, and it is through collaboration with customers and partners that we will tackle issues and deliver on our vision of improving the lives of workers in our supply chain.”
Peter McAllister, Executive Director of ETI, said: “We’re delighted with the progress Princes has made as a member of ETI and with the commitment they’ve shown to workers’ rights throughout their supply chain. We’ve been particularly impressed by their work in Mauritius on ethical recruitment practices and in the Italian tomato sector where they’ve been a driving force in tackling the exploitation of migrant workers. We look forward to working with them over the coming months and years as their ethical trade journey goes from strength to strength.”
Companies that join ETI must adopt the ETI Base Code in full. The ETI Base Code is derived from the standards of the International Labour Organisation, and is an internationally recognised code of labour practice. They must also sign up to our Principles of Implementation, which set out the approaches to ethical trade that member companies should follow. Member companies must also play an active part in ETI activities alongside their trade union and NGO colleagues, including in members’ meetings, projects and working groups.