Collaboration with external partners plays a key role in our approach to addressing human rights risk in our supply chains. The issues we face are often complex and complicated, and our influence to leverage meaningful change can be limited. Engaging with our suppliers, competitors, NGOs, charities, Trade Unions and multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) helps us to maximise the resource and intelligence available to support our actions and forms a key part of our strategy.

We have always been committed to supporting our suppliers to address any issues identified in their business, by giving them the time to address concerns and access to additional expertise where required. Collaborative partnerships play a key role in this, allowing us to refer suppliers to sources of expert guidance to help them resolve issues. We also utilise our membership of various groups and pre-competitive relationships with other UK supermarkets to establish whether site based issues affect multiple brands or retailers. If this is the case we always seek to work in collaboration to provide effective remediation.

We have been actively engaged with the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) since 2015 and were confirmed as full members in 2018. ETI membership gives us the ability to join forces with other businesses, trade unions and civil society organisations to support wider advocacy and influence at government level in countries with systemic human rights issues. We are currently actively participating in and providing financial support for a number of ETI initiatives and research projects which help us build capacity in our supply chains, enabling suppliers and smaller producers to take ownership for improving outcomes for workers.

These groups include:

  • Good labour practices in Latin American horticulture
  • Freedom of association & social dialogue in South Africa
  • Vulnerable migrant workers in Italy
  • Human rights due diligence in Spain
  • Modern Slavery
  • Temporary accommodation standards in UK agriculture

Through our sponsorship of Stronger Together in the UK we have made a training workshop on “Tackling Modern Slavery in UK Business” available free of charge, which has now been attended by over 90% of our primary UK food suppliers. This delivers significant knowledge and awareness in our tier one supply chain, building their capacity to develop and deliver action plans into extended tiers and ultimately down to grower level.

Through our Global Sourcing team in Hong Kong we are members of the Mekong Club, a leading multi stakeholder initiative working with businesses in Asia to address modern slavery. We have also recently engaged with the Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR-CSR) to strengthen our approach to tackling child labour in the region and access their remediation services. We held meetings with their team in January 2019 and plan to formally join their working group of brands and retailers later in the year.

Most recently, in February 2019, Morrisons were confirmed as a founding sponsor of the Responsible Recruitment Toolkit (along with a number of other UK supermarkets), to offer all our suppliers access to expert, pragmatic support to achieve responsible recruitment in their supply chains. Through our sponsorship, Morrisons will support the ongoing development of the RRT and provide our suppliers with free access to a range of innovative training and awareness workshops delivered by leading experts in the field of responsible recruitment and the elimination of work related fees.