Responsible Trading Case Study

Project Date


Ethical & Social Networking
& Auditing

In establishing a set of shared goals for achieving sustainable development around the world, the United Nations recognised that the scale, scope and complexity of the economic and social transformation needed would mean that no one sector, government, business, civil society or academia would be able to manage the transformation alone.

In progressing the UN ethical and social goals, greater collaboration across the supply chain is vital. For over 10 years, we, in Total Produce, have been working with Sedex, one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, using their practical assessment audit tools and community network to continuously support and improve social and ethical practices across our supply chain. 

In addition, in 2019 TPUK joined FNET, a Group of 34 produce suppliers and 10 retailers, all of whom share a desire to improve ethical trade in the food supply chain. Aligned to Sedex’s principles, FNET’s aim is to bring about lasting change in ethical standards by raising awareness, improving understanding and developing tools to promote and educate. Working with Sedex brings transparency to the supply chain. Our growers complete individual supplier SAQ’s (self-assessment questionnaires) on the Sedex website detailing their social protocols and practices which we share with our customers base. Any sources deemed a high ethical risk are required to submit to a third party ethical audit. The Sedex Smeta audit is a high quality audit that encompasses all aspects of responsible sourcing including Labour, Health and Safety, Environment and Ethics.

Going forward, in 2020 Sedex launched “Radar” their risk assessment tool for assessing country, sector and site risk. Networking and collaboration have shown us, there is always something more to be learned. We will be using Radar alongside our current risk assessment models with an expectation of streamlining and making further refinements to our ethical risk measurement and management protocols.