At Morrisons we recognise the responsibility that we share with our suppliers to buy, produce and sell our products in an ethical manner.
We are guided by our core purpose to “make and provide food we’re all proud of, where everyone’s efforts are worthwhile so more and more people can afford to enjoy eating well”. Respecting the human rights of everyone involved in the sourcing, manufacture and supply of our products is key to this commitment and our customers rightly expect us to take this responsibility seriously.We also agree with the need to uphold the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and have aligned our Corporate Responsibility reporting with the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Our Ethical Trading Policy and Ethical Trading Code are at the heart of our approach to monitoring, managing and mitigating human rights risk in our supply chain. This approach has historically been based around requiring our first tier suppliers to demonstrate compliance through the provision of third party social audits. As our programme has developed however, we have come to recognise the limitations of these audits in our food supply chains and their effectiveness in identifying and mitigating some of the more challenging issues.
Audits undoubtedly still have a role to play in our programme, and can provide the additional benefit of engaging suppliers in the conversation around ethical trading and modern slavery (in many cases for the first time). This can lead to dialogue on how these challenging issues can be addressed, especially in countries where this may be contrary to historical employment practices. It is however clear that to deliver meaningful change we need to engage and collaborate with a wider range of stakeholders.
For more information on our approach to Ethical Trading, please take a look at our blog.