Two supplier training schemes will launch in early 2017 as part of Sainsbury’s efforts to tackle human trafficking and exploitative labour within its supply chains.
The training is being given to over 20 Sainsbury's suppliers in the UK to help them identify vulnerable workers and prevent exploitation. This is particularly important for seasonal workers who go to the farms for planting or harvesting.
The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLA) developed the training for the supermarket, and it follows a successful pilot scheme that Sainsbury's ran with its egg farmers. The retailer announced the news to coincide with Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.
Suppliers who source products from all over the world will be given guidance and support on how to manage ethical trade in complex supply chains. In addition, Sainsbury’s wine suppliers and farms in South Africa will receive a course, delivered by a local expert, on how to adopt ethical practices.
Sainsbury's said it has a tradition of working with NGOs, retailers, organisations and governments to tackle modern slavery and other extreme forms of exploitation. The retailer is also a founding members of Stronger Together, a food industry initiative focused on human trafficking, forced labour and other hidden third party migrant worker exploitation schemes. Stronger Together equips UK employers and labour providers with the resources to recognise and tackle exploitation. So far over 250 of Sainsbury’s suppliers have attended the training.
Judith Batchelar, director of Sainsbury’s brand wrote on an online blog that: “We remain committed to playing our part to ensure the fair treatment of all workers throughout our value chains."
Batchelar added: "As we continue on the long-term work of creating fully transparent value chains, spanning over more than 70 countries from which we source, with the risks understood and the appropriate mitigations and management in place across our entire business, we know that multi stakeholder activity will play an important role in addressing issues that exist beyond the boundaries of a field, factory or even value chain.”