The Ethical Trading Initiative is an alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations. ETI work in partnership to improve the working lives of people across the globe who make or grow consumer goods - everything from tea to T-shirts, from flowers to footballs.
ETI's vision is a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and work in conditions of freedom, security and equity. This year corporate members' ethical trade activities touched the lives of over 8.6 million workers.
What is ethical trade?
Ethical trade means that retailers, brands and their suppliers take responsibility for improving the working conditions of the people who make the products they sell. Most of these workers are employed by supplier companies around the world, many of them based in poor countries where laws designed to protect workers' rights are inadequate or not enforced.
Companies with a commitment to ethical trade adopt a code of labour practice that they expect all their suppliers to work towards. Such codes address issues like wages, hours of work, health and safety and the right to join free trade unions.
ETI has a set of standards divided into two parts: one is the ETI Base Code, which is a code of labour practice reflecting the most relevant international standards with respect to labour practices which will be used as the basis of its work. The other is the Principles of Implementation. These define the commitments, management practices and behaviours required of corporate members to implement the ETI Base Code in their supply chains.
The ETI programme does not have a certification system. Rather it focuses only on auditing. The audit results will be available to the company applying for the audit.