Press Centre

ASDA leads the way in driving up supplier standards

As part of ASDA’s commitment to monitor and improve the conditions under which its products are produced, the retailer is today (Friday 13th February 2009) hosting its first ethical trading conference for suppliers at its Merchandising Centre of Excellence (MCE) in Morley, West Yorkshire.

Lead by ASDA’s ethical sourcing team and addressed by Rt Hon Ed Balls MP (Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and MP for Normanton), the conference will bring together 300 of ASDA’s leading own-label suppliers, Yorkshire businesses and other key stakeholders, with the goal of improving ethical business standards across the supply chain.

In partnership with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority, Unite, the Garment and Leather Workers Federation and Anti-slavery International, ASDA will share best practice with suppliers to ensure they are effectively equipped to address ethical sourcing issues.

Paul Kelly, ASDA’s Director of Corporate Affairs, said:

“We hope this conference will help us gain a deeper transparency across our supply chain and make sure we source efficiently and sustainably in all areas of our business.

“We pride ourselves on running one of the industry’s leading auditing programmes to ensure that we never compromise on our ethical standards.

“Our approach is simple – we always try to do the right thing. We never turn a blind eye to wrong doing so when we find problems, we work with our suppliers to put things right, we don’t walk away.”

Ed Balls, MP for Normanton, said:

“Working with local communities and supporting small businesses is what ethical sourcing is all about. It’s great that ASDA works with so many local suppliers right here in Yorkshire.

“I look forward to seeing ASDA – as one of our biggest local employers – build stronger links with suppliers and producers in the Morley area. Supporting local traders and small businesses is more important than ever in these difficult economic times.”

The move follows Wal-Mart’s commitment last year to ‘source responsibly and reduce their environmental impact’ through the launch of a new programme – ‘Building the Supply Chain of the Future’.
The initiative, which opened with Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Summit in Beijing last November, aims to incorporate environmental, social and quality standards throughout the global sourcing network, including the UK – helping to transform its business model and bring more eco friendly products to millions of Wal-Mart customers worldwide.

Posted in Press Centre on 13 February 2009