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How Waitrose & Partners is using Sedex to maintain ethical practices throughout their supply chain

Now that we’re using Sedex we have much more clarity into the information that we have. We’re better able to see trends so that we can better target

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We caught up with Deeva Parikh, Human Rights Officer Ethics & Sustainability at Waitrose & Partners, about what the organisation is doing to promote ethical practices throughout their supply chain.

Waitrose & Partners is a major British supermarket, with more than 300 locations. They believe that higher standards on environmental responsibility and the wellbeing of the communities where they operate go hand in hand with good business.

Why did Waitrose & Partners join Sedex?

Waitrose & Partners joined Sedex to ensure that all sites in their supply chain are carrying out ethical due diligence in line with industry standards. Sedex allows Waitrose & Partners to understand more about their suppliers and their ways of working, through the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). They then use findings from SMETA audits to do a deep dive into the good practices suppliers are maintaining, as well as being able to see any issues that need to be addressed.

Sedex has become a one-stop-shop for Waitrose & Partners to improve their knowledge of suppliers’ sites, and to run accurate reports that are imperative to measure progress on KPIs.

Why is responsible sourcing important to Waitrose & Partners?

Responsible sourcing is at the heart of Waitrose & Partners. As a co-owned business, the organisation prides itself on ensuring the lives of all workers are respected.

Waitrose & Partners believe it is highly important to ensure that those who work in their supply chain have safe and hygienic working conditions, are being treated fairly, and are paid correctly. Without the efforts of these workers, much of the food on our table would not be here.

How is Sedex’s supplier risk assessment tool (Radar) supporting Waitrose & Partners responsible sourcing programme?

Radar provides Waitrose & Partners with two core sets of information on the Sedex platform.  Firstly, it gives an overview of the risk information for each supplier site. And secondly it then gives the ability to deep dive into individual sites through a report which allows the company to analyse SAQ answers, SMETA audit, and any non-compliances.

Radar helps Waitrose & Partners to prioritise the sites they believe to be high-risk, allowing them to focus supplier engagement and improvement efforts most effectively. In short, Radar makes it easier to manage their suppliers’ ethical compliance, with the ability to also learn more about specific sites and their operations.

Radar has also allowed Waitrose & Partners to discover more about gender within their supply chain by highlighting the countries and industries where women are most concentrated, as well the number of women in managerial or supervisory roles.

Through Sedex’s tools and services, they are able to track and report on progress towards achieving KPIs, including an ethical compliance rate for Waitrose operations.