The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) expects its membership to grow by 20% next year, as an increasing number of suppliers join the trade body in response to pressure from retailers tightening up their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies.
The ETI’s director Dan Rees said there was no evidence of a drop in commitment from members despite the retail climate. “They are not cutting back on how much they invest in ethical trade activities,” he said.
ETI members employ 400 full-time staff in ethical trade teams and spent a combined £14 million on ethical trade activities last year, up from £8.6m the previous year.
Rees added: “We’re growing 20% year on year.”
In June, value chain Primark axed three of its southern Indian factories after the BBC’s Panorama investigation found some of Primark’s suppliers had sub-contracted work and that some of that work had been carried out by children.
New ETI members include jewellery and accessories manufacturer Icon Live, which supplies multiples including Oasis, and supermarkets Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.