Retail Trade: Sustainable Development

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 9th November 2015.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps his Department is taking to encourage retailers to source their products from ethical and sustainable sources; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Anna Soubry Anna Soubry The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Department encourages more responsible supply chain management by businesses, including retailers, by requiring companies to be more transparent about their business operations. UK listed companies are required to report on social and environmental matters where necessary for an understanding of their business.

More widely, the Government supports the Ethical Trading Initiative which helps member companies realise their commitment to continuous improvement in ethical sourcing.

We are also providing £18 million over six years to help Fairtrade International have a greater impact in their work and strengthen the global Fairtrade system.

The Government also supports work by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) on voluntary agreements such as the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan which encourages sustainability of clothing across the product life cycle including, for example, use of lower impact fibres. In addition, Government co-ordinates work on the UK statement on the sustainable production of palm oil, working with retailers and others towards achieving 100% sourcing of credibly certified sustainable palm oil in the UK.

In October the transparency in supply chains provision (section 54) of the Modern Slavery Act came into force.

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