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Ethical Trading

We listen actively and act thoughtfully. We will create a deeper connection with our suppliers and their respective communities through open dialogue. 


We have around 3,000 General Merchandise and Food product, raw material and service suppliers around the world. We label all M&S General Merchandise products with its country of origin. We also have local buying offices with Regional Compliance Managers in Turkey, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and China.

In 1999, we developed a set of principles in partnership with our suppliers. These principles set down our requirements for suppliers to comply with all relevant local and national laws, particularly on: working hours and conditions, health and safety, rates of pay, terms of employment and minimum age of employment.

In 2014 we strengthened these to include human rights, gender equality, community, fairness and small farmers.

Download Global Sourcing Principles PDF

As our relationship with a supplier develops,   we expect them to improve working conditions in line with the more demanding standards promoted by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), a collaborative group of companies, trade unions and human rights groups set up by the Government in 1998. M&S joined the ETI in 1999.

Download ETI base code PDF

We use a combination of M&S, third- party and self audits to assess supplier performance which are logged on a shared database known as SEDEX. Results are reported in detail to the ETI and summarised in our annual Plan A Report.