Ethical policies

Our approach to ethical trade and human rights.

Our commitments on ethical trade, human rights and modern slavery are set out in a number of policies and protocols. These guide the recruitment and behaviour of our colleagues, our purchasing of products and services, and our relationships with suppliers and partners.

You can find a selection of our policies below.

Policies for colleagues: Policies relating to our colleagues' working patterns, conditions and contracts and policies relating to complaints, grievance and discipline.

Sustainable development policy: Our sustainable development policy describes how the business delivers value to customers in a socially responsible manner.

Human rights and trade policy: Co-op's Human Rights and Trade Policy sets out the exceptional circumstances under which we would withdraw trade from a state or region. One such circumstance is where there is broad international consensus that the status of a state or region is illegal (see Trading with illegal settlements or occupied territories).

Sound Sourcing Code of Conduct (SSCC): The workplace and employment standards that we expect of all our suppliers are set out in our Sound Sourcing Code of Conduct (SSCC). The SSCC is based on the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code and core international labour standards, and includes checks on forced labour and modern slavery.

Sustainable Procurement and Supplier Policy (SPSP): This sets out the sustainability and ethical standards we expect of our suppliers of goods and services not for resale (GNFR), including on labour standards in our supply chain. The SPSP is part of the ethical due diligence checks we carry out when sourcing GNFR.

Supplier Guide to Ethical Trade: Our Supplier Guides to Ethical Trade provide detailed guidance on our expectations of food and non-food suppliers in meeting our ethical standards, as set out in the SSCC and SPSP.

Ethical Trade and Human Rights Policy Position Statement: Our Ethical Trade and Human Rights Policy Position Statement provides details on how we ensure that the people and communities providing the products and services we buy and sell are treated fairly, and that their fundamental human rights are protected and respected.

The Future of Food: Our Future of Food ambition, launched in September 2018, sets out our ethical and sustainability commitments to 2030 for our Food business. These include our 'Treating People Fairly' human rights ambitions and commitments on supply chain transparency, eliminating recruitment fees from our global supply chains, and championing the role of women and vulnerable workers.

Read more on the Co-op website about our food ethical trading programme.

Read more about our work to tackle modern slavery.