Ethical Trading

We want our customers to be confident that everyone who helps to make our products is treated with dignity and respect, in safe and fair workplaces.

We are committed to upholding the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and have aligned our approach to addressing human rights risk against this global standard. 

We recognise the systemic nature of labour rights violations around the world and acknowledge that a deeper understanding of root cause and contributory factors is required to address these issues. Some of the worst abuses can occur where governments fail to deliver on their responsibility to protect worker’s rights. We also acknowledge that business practices and decision making by sourcing companies can contribute to poor conditions in the supply chain. This can be compounded further where trade unions are weak, or their activities are restricted, reducing workers’ capacity to bargain collectively for improvements in their conditions. 

Both governments and business play an important role in ensuring that small-scale farmers are resilient and prosperous, earn a living income and receive a fair share of the value accumulated in food supply chains. We do however also acknowledge that workers can experience in-work poverty even where national minimum standards are met and have commenced efforts to address this in our global food supply chains

Our Ethical Trading Policy and Ethical Trading Code remain at the heart of our approach to monitoring, managing and mitigating human rights risk in our supply chain. All suppliers are required to comply with our Ethical Trading code, which is included in our Supplier Standard Terms & Conditions of Purchase. We recognise our shared responsibility with suppliers to improve labour standards in our supply chains and are committed to increasing transparency of our supplier relations in order to make it easier to work with us. We also have additional, supporting policies in place to manage specific topics such as the responsible remediation of child labour and management of homeworkers.

Collaboration with external partners plays a key role in our programme as the issues we face are often complex and complicated. Morrisons has been actively engaged with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) since 2015, and were confirmed as full members in 2018.Membership enables us to join forces with other businesses, trade unions, and civil society organisations to support wider advocacy and drive positive change in our supply chains. Further detail on all collaborative work and engagement with multi-stakeholder initiatives can be found on our Collaborative Working page.

We have demonstrated a continued effort to purchase fairly and responsibly through a commitment to our obligations under the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (GSCOP), and are consistently one of the most improved UK supermarkets. We take our responsibilities to suppliers seriously and have established ways of working that enable us to build strong collaborative relationships. In the past year this has included several initiatives to support suppliers through the challenges presented by the Covid pandemic, including moving to immediate payment terms for all existing and any new smaller suppliers (over 3,000 in total). Further details can be found in the “Working with Suppliers” section of our most recent Annual Report

We also fund a number of initiatives that provide free training and resources for our suppliers to support their own responsible sourcing programmes. More information can be found by clicking on  Collaborative Working and Tackling Modern Slavery boxes at the bottom of this page.

Our work on human rights in the supply chain is now also part of the wider Morrisons Sustain programme, which encompasses several ESG related topics and puts sustainability at the heart of our business.

Click on the sections below for more information on our approach to ethical trading and human rights in our supply chain: