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Our Approach to Upholding Human Rights
We recognise that all supply chains are different, employing people all over the world, every day. To ensure we are upholding the rights of people impacted by our business and continually driving improvements, we have adopted a range of approaches and have integrated our targets across the business. Ultimately, responsibility for the implementation of human rights due diligence sits with the commercial and marketing board director.
In the first instance, we are focusing on building the transparency of our supply chains and gaining visibility of priority responsible sourcing issues, as well as identifying industry collaborations where we can work with our peers on systemic challenges.
In addition, all of our non-food products are sourced through approved factories that fall within our non-food social compliance programme, and are continually monitored on social standards by dedicated staff.
Working with our Food Suppliers
Due to the fact that over 60% of the permanent product lines in our stores are from British suppliers, we have decided to focus the first stage of our work on human rights and working conditions in these supply chains.
In 2016, we updated our supplier contracts, allowing us to map the first tier of our UK food supply chains through Sedex, the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange. This has shown us, for example, that 80% of our UK supply base use agency labour, and that 34% of the workers within these supply chains are women. Using this level of information, along with other risk indicators provided by our stakeholders, we are developing a human rights due diligence process within our food supply chains.
This means that within these complex supply chains, we will focus our efforts where we have leverage with our suppliers and can take immediate steps to mitigate human rights abuses.