The Advantage Report Mirror provides us with insights on how our suppliers think we’re performing against a number of areas. This also applies where temporary staff are used. We endorsed the “COVID-19: Action in the Global Garment Industry” which you can read on the ILO’s website, We are also involved in submitting proposals to DFID to support their COVID-19 Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility (VSCF), to form partnerships that support and respond to the challenges that COVID-19 presents within DFID-priority countries and ensure the most vulnerable workers and suppliers are prepared for the anticipated economic and social shocks, More widely, we remain committed to our Global Sourcing Principles that outline how we work with suppliers in relation to human rights, sustainability and decent working conditions, Critical – any Critical issues more than 10 Major issues, High Risk – up to 10 Major issues or more than 10 Minor issues, No locked or blocked aisles/exits preventing use, Firefighting equipment inaccessible, insufficient, unusable or wrong type or no training on its use, No evacuation procedures, drills or training, No, or adequate, functioning emergency lighting, Systematic failures in health and safety systems, Compliance – with national laws, international labour standards and the terms of any collective bargaining agreements that are in place, Consultation between all key internal and external stakeholders. We’re only as strong as the communities in which we operate. We are a member of the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment and are committed to the Employer Pays Principle.

Whilst we believe our audit standards are robust and industry-leading, we know we cannot be complacent.

We have recently reissued and extended the reach of our Codes of Practice on Responsible Labour User and Responsible Employment Requirements. We have a number of policies and guidelines on ethical trade and have clear protocols in place for setting up a supplier and our system and approving a factory for production. We take any incidents very seriously and would work with the relevant authorities and experts to ensure that individuals are protected. Sites rated as High Risk are permitted to produce on a conditional basis for a period of time (e.g. For example, our Farming for the Future programme has been developed to help farmers identify risk factors, develop learning and share best practice to improve the profitability and sustainability of their businesses and supply chains. We will not compromise on either our quality or our relationships with our suppliers and maintain a competitive stance on price. This is just as true for the communities we buy from as the communities we sell to. Making our denim better for people & the planet, Making the perfect match: how we’re using data to revitalise our mentoring scheme, Josna's story: celebrating women in our supply chain, How our colleagues have helped shape our NHS support, How we're marking the 75th anniversay of VE day, Making sustainability part of our family of businesses, M&S Rochdale Riverside: brand-new store ready for customers to shop with confidence, Sharing the sustainability stories of our materials online, Engaging, involving and fast-moving: my first year as an M&S Enterprise Grad, Sustainable seafood: building on our commitment, Recycle Week 2020: sparking change together, National Inclusion Week: Making inclusion an everyday reality at M&S, World Mental Health Day: Making mental wellbeing a part of our everyday, Helping prevent holiday hunger in our communities, Why supporting the Poppy Appeal is more crucial than ever before, PODCAST: Series One, Episode One – The cotton challenge, The M&S Podcast: Series One, Episode Two: The horsemeat crisis and how it has changed the industry, The M&S Podcast: Series One, Episode Three: Responsible business: tackling Modern Day Slavery in supply chains, The M&S Podcast: Series One, Episode Four: Empowering ‘intrapreneurs’ within the workforce, The M&S Podcast: Series One, Episode Five: David Gandy speaks to M&S, Episode 6 of the M&S Podcast: The rise of Vegan Living, Flexitarians and Vegan-Friendly Products, Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia, Find out more about our approach to respecting human rights, Find out more about our approach to product standards, Effective and comprehensive management systems.

In 2015-16, all palm oil used in M&S products was Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil certified, the report said. Where new suppliers receive a Red grading, a re-audit is generally carried out within 3 months of the original audit date.

Many tell us that the programme has led to improved productivity, better retention of high quality, motivated employees and less dependency on casual labour.

Suppliers confidentially rate our performance against 6 of our competitors and 7 performance areas including business relationships. Agents are audited by FSIG (our approved audit provider) to a defined protocol that covers their responsibilities with regard to the application of our relevant policies, Business Standards and Guidelines at the sites they source finished products from.