Tesco Corporate Responsibility Review 2005

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Suppliers

We have built strong long-term partnerships with suppliers at all levels. This partnership approach ensures that our customers have a reliable supply of goods, and new and better products through investment and innovation. We do not encourage practices which are unsustainable such as below-cost selling. These are bad for suppliers, and are therefore bad for customers and for Tesco.

Susan Kraukamp

Susan Kraukamp of the Lebanon Trust, the first Thandi farm to be accredited to Tesco Nature’s Choice.

A partnership approach benefits our suppliers by giving them a certain and growing market for their products, regular payments and payments on time, and our commitment to sharing our understanding of customers and changing consumer behaviour. Partnership also means working with suppliers to apply the ETI base code (click here for more information on ETI base code) and to improve environmental standards through Nature’s Choice accreditation (click here for information on Nature’s Choice). For example our largest South African supplier runs programmes to develop and train women workers and encourages farm worker ownership and empowerment through the Thandi initiative.

‘Nine years ago we were just normal farm workers. Today we are owners. The Thandi initiative is developing leaders for sustainable agriculture in South Africa.’
Susan Kraukamp, Lebanon Trust.

We also work with suppliers to help prepare them for legislative and subsidy changes, such as the removal of European Union production-related subsidies. An example of how we are trying to help is the Tesco-Grampian cattle initiative in Scotland. This has produced a guide for producers on cattle production methods that maximise non-subsidy returns. It advises on weight-for-age ratios, food conversion ratios, conformation grades and processing yields. We think this is a responsible way to help manage significant change in the industry at the same time as reducing costs and maintaining quality for our customers.

Supply chain

We aim to act reasonably and responsibly in all our commercial and trading activities. We cannot claim to have all the answers to complex ethical or social issues. However, we will do what we can to ensure that the standards of our suppliers meet relevant international requirements.

Risk assessment and auditing

We take a risk-based approach to managing labour standards in our supply chain, in addition to the due diligence work we do on legal compliance, product safety, quality and capability for product development.

Buying locally

Although we are increasingly an international company, to our customers we are their local store and as such we recognise the importance of buying locally in all our businesses.