Our teams are continuing to work closely with all of our supply partners to determine any impact on products and ingredients sourced, and to assess contingencies. Where required, we are proactively working together to agree business continuity solutions to alleviate any potential service disruptions to our customers. We also want to ensure that the good work our suppliers are doing to adhere to Ethical Trading & Human Rights continues. Below is some guidance on this issue.
Ethical Trading & Human Rights
We recognise that Covid-19 represents a global humanitarian crisis and we want to thank all of our suppliers for the tremendous resilience and support they have demonstrated over the last few weeks. Princes wants to support all of our supply partners through this period of unprecedented change.
During these globally challenging times, it’s more important than ever to protect the health safety and livelihoods of workers in our global supply chain.
Sedex has issued guidance for members relating to Covid-19, and the implications for ethical auditing during this time.
Princes support this guidance, including:
- Accepting a delay of up to 3 months where sites in high-risk countries are unable to complete their annual or follow-up SMETA audit as a result of COVID-19 e.g. the site is not operating, precautionary health measures restrict access to visitors, lack of auditor availability etc.. This time frame will continue to be reviewed.
- Permitting working hours to exceed 60 in any 7-day period, assuming all overtime is voluntary, controlled and legally permitted. However, where possible, we encourage suppliers to hire additional workers rather than increasing hours above 60.
In addition to WHO and national government guidance, we have the following recommendations for suppliers:
Workers in fields
- We recommend as far as possible that the number of workers in fields should be reduced and consideration given to the phasing of shifts to support social distancing norms. Where possible we also suggest increasing number of washing stations available to workers, assign workers their own personal tools where possible and provide workers with cleaning products to clean their tools and hands.
Workers in manufacturing sites
- Using markers on the floors to keep people at a safe distance, moving workstations further away where possible, placing orders for polycarbonate screens (or similar), face shields and masks.
- Avoid large and small gatherings where the 2m distance cannot be guaranteed.
- Special efforts should be made to clean surfaces that are touched regularly e.g. knobs, buttons, handrails, etc. Cleaning staff must be provided the appropriate clothing and PPE. All indoor facilities should be ventilated regularly. Any shared facility should be cleaned and disinfected after being used for one team/group.
Social distancing in worker transport applied in all situations.Workers should get in/ off the vehicle in a staggered way, always keeping the 2mtr distance (or other government-recommended distance) apart during the process.
- Increased cleaning and disinfection of communal areas.
- Staff with adequate PPE assigned periodically to provide food and services to those in self-isolation and infected and to execute. intensified cleaning plans. Adequate training for staff with key tasks.