Julia Hawkins


Ethical Trading (ETI)

Topic: Social Accountability, Better safe than Sorry 

Tuesday, October 11th - 11.20-12.00am


Corporate Social responsibility is not only about product but probably more importantly about people and morality. In today’s smaller world with its greater understanding of the common good and open information companies need to ensure that their and their suppliers’ employees’ rights are upheld. Not only is this becoming a legal requirement but a brand value necessity as the internet can turn a local rumour into front page headlines overnight. The Ethical Trading iniative (eti) and Social Accountability international and will both look at how brands can integrate this CSR requirement into their business practices. 


Julia is Media Relations and Communications Manager at the ETI, where she raises awareness about ethical trade among businesses, the media and other key stakeholders.

At ETI she has developed a range of tools to help companies trade ethically, including the ETI Workbook – a practical, step-by-step guide to ethical trade - as well as DVDs for both retailers and suppliers about the business case for ethical trade. Prior to this she worked as a consultant in international development and corporate responsibility, with clients ranging from Nestlé to the UK Department for International Development (DFID). She spent the latter half of the 1990s living in the Palestinian West Bank, working as a consultant on a variety of private sector development projects. 

Ethical Trading Initiative

ETI is a ground-breaking alliance of companies, trade unions and voluntary organisations. We work in partnership to improve the working lives of people across the globe who make or grow consumer goods - everything from tea to T-shirts, from flowers to footballs.

Our corporate membership includes companies such as Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's, M&S, Next, Rohan and Arco. They have a combined turnover of over £107 bn. Trade union members represent nearly 160 million workers around the world in every country where free trade unions can operate. Our NGO members range from large international development charities such as Oxfam and CAFOD, to specialised labour rights organisations such as Anti-Slavery International.

Companies that join ETI must adopt the ETI Base Code in full. The ETI Base Code is derived from the standards of the International Labour Organisation, and is an internationally recognised code of labour practice. They must also sign up to our Principles of Implementation, which set out the approaches to ethical trade that member companies should follow. Member companies must also play an active part in ETI activities alongside their trade union and NGO colleagues, including in members' meetings, projects and working groups. In 2010, our member companies' ethical trade activities covered over 9.8 million workers around the world. They requested that their suppliers take over 133,000 separate actions to improve workers' conditions. These numbers are growing every year. An independent assessment of ETI members' ethical trade activities carried out by Sussex-based Institute of Development Studies found that improvements have been made in health and safety, reducing child labour, increasing wages and reducing the incidence of excessive overtime.


Follow ETI on twitter: @ethicaltrade


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