Best practice a rarity

July 01, 2004

Best practice a rarity

The majority of UK companies do not manage their supply chains in accordance with emerging best practice, according to a report from AccountAbility and Insight Investment published on April 7. Gradient: promoting best practice management of supply chain labour standards is based on publicly available information from 35 FTSE 350 companies across six sectors: beverages, food and drug retailers, food producers and processors, general retailers, telecommunications and tobacco. Each company was evaluated against a total of 19 criteria spread between five categories: governance and risk management; policy; management; stakeholder engagement and auditing and reporting. More than a third (14) of the companies do not disclose a supply chain labour standards policy or have a weak one that does not reference core ILO conventions. Marks & Spencer was the best performing company with a score of 84%. Contact Mirahv Joseph, AccountAbility on 020 7549 0400 (

Coffee and communities

Starbucks Coffee Company announced on April 5 the distribution of funding to four coffee farming communities in Sumatra, Guatemala and Kenya. The communities won the Starbucks Special Reserve competition for the world’s best coffee. The money will be used to support social improvement projects chosen both by the winning cooperatives and by Starbucks. Meanwhile, Starbucks marked International Fair Trade Week by featuring Fair Trade Blend in thousands of its US and Canada stores from May 3-9. Contact Megan Behrbaum, Starbucks, on 00 1 206 318 7310 (

Philips introduced in its 2003 Sustainability Report provisions requiring its 50,000 suppliers worldwide to practice social and environmental sustainability.

Contact Philips on 00 31 205 977 199 (

The Ethical Trading Initiative on May 26 launched a Risk Assessment Toolkit, the product of a nearly two-year project involving seven of its corporate members, the TUC and seven NGOs. Contact ETI, on 020 7404 1463 (

Hewlett-Packard has joined the Business Leaders Initiative on Human Rights, with a focus on supply chains in the IT industry.

Contact HP on 0207 853 2200(