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Human rights

We’re committed to respecting and championing internationally recognised human rights standards in our own business and in our supply chain. With reports of some 40.3 million people still subject to modern slavery and 24.9 million of whom are in forced labour1 , there’s still a significant amount of work to do to ensure the rights of people are protected. We aim for all the jobs we create, directly and through our supply chain, to be decent, fair and safe.

Our responsibilities for the welfare of people go far beyond those we employ directly. We aim to ensure that all the jobs we help create, directly and through our supply chain, are decent, fair and safe and that human rights are always respected. We take a zero-tolerance approach to any breach of human rights.

We are committed to upholding human rights wherever we operation and in our supply chain and we endorse the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization Core Conventions and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.For our supply base specifically, we require that our suppliers uphold the full range of labour standards set out in the Base Code of the Ethical Trading Initiative 

ETI Base Code | Ethical Trading Initiative

We focus our compliance program on areas of highest risk and require all primary suppliers in high-risk countries to be audited to internationally recognised standards every year.

Over the past 12 months all Tesco Own Brand suppliers in (country) have been risk assessed using methodology developed by the globally recognised Food Network for Ethical Trade (FNET). Even with the challenges of COVID restricting auditor travel, over 97% of our high-risk tier 1 suppliers were audited in the last year.

All suppliers in high-risk locations are also required to register on the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) system, which gives greater visibility of audits and findings on working conditions to us and to other companies sourcing from the same sites. We also retain the right to conduct an unannounced audit at any site supplying Tesco at any time, regardless of country risk rating.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our suppliers in many ways exacerbating human rights issues already in place, creating new levels of vulnerability for the most at- risk groups and compounding poverty related issues. We will continue to focus on high-risk supply chains and addressing root causes, to raise standards and protect human .

The approach of the entire Tesco group to the observance of the highest standards of human rights

UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)

SDG 1 No Poverty

No Poverty is focused on ending all forms of poverty. Sustainable livelihoods for workers and smallholder farmers is one of four themes in our human rights strategy. This recognises that, although our trade provides opportunities and employment, there is still poverty associated with many different products and supply chains. Our aim is to ensure the jobs we create provide those in our supply chain with decent wages and incomes to help people and families prosper.  

SDG 5 Gender Equality

The aim is to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment. We believe that women must be fairly represented across our workplace and throughout our supply chain. Working directly with suppliers, we are committed to working towards identifying gender equality issues and taking action to mitigate and remediate these issues.

SDG 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

Decent Work and Economic Growth promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Our human rights strategy addresses this goal, particularly 8.7 and 8.8, focusing on eradicating human rights abuses and promoting decent, fair and safe environments for all, through our four strategic pillars: sustainable livelihoods, worker representation, forced labour and gender equality.  

SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals

The aim is to strengthen global partnerships for sustainable development. We work in partnership with NGOs, suppliers and the wider industry to progress our commitments and build the resilience and sustainability of our business. Examples of this include leveraging our partnership with the World Banana Forum and IDH, enabling us to help banana suppliers close living wage gaps.