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Primark pledges further ethical initiatives

Primark has committed to ramp up its ethical trade activities following an in-depth investigation by the Ethical Trading Initiative.

Trade body the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) found that Primark has significantly improved its ethical credentials over the past year but said the value fashion retailer could still do more to ensure its manufacturing and sourcing was ethically sound.

Since the investigation begun, Primark has taken several steps to monitor its supply chain, including the recruitment of Katherine Kirk as director of ethical trade and the appointment of ethical trade staff in sourcing countries. Primark has also developed new ethical trade policies and practices, and implemented awareness-raising training programmes for its buyers and suppliers.

ETI has now put forward a list of ethical recommendations to Primark, which the value retailer has committed to implementing.

Paul Lister, company secretary of Primark’s parent company Associated British Foods, told The Telegraph that Primark was continuing with its programme to increase the number of ethical audits at its suppliers’ factories and was also working on “living wage” projects in China and Bangladesh. He added: “By making these changes we believe things can get better for suppliers, workers and for us - everybody gains.”

ETI director Dan Rees said: “Primark has made enormous strides over the past 12 months, and while there is still a great deal of work left to do, given the pace of improvement and the resources now committed, we are satisfied that Primark is committed to a robust and credible ethical trade strategy. Where weaknesses remain, we are committed to working with the company to address them.”

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