In August 2018 Ethical Consumer viewed New Internationalist's Ethical Shop website for the organisations supply chain management policy.
The website stated that the shop followed an Ethical Buying Policy.
Ethical Consumer viewed the policy which stated the following: "The Code of Conduct for suppliers has been approved by the New Internationalist Co-operative. The majority of suppliers will be expected to sign this agreement but as a small organisation itself the New Internationalist does not want to impose unnecessary administrative burdens. Some suppliers will therefore not be expected to sign:
- Those that are already a member of International Federation of Alternative Traders (IFAT)
- Suppliers of goods to a value of less than £5000pa.
Suppliers that sign to indicate that they conform to the Code will be asked to re-state this every three years. Suppliers not yet able to sign the Code but who commit themselves to continuous improvement towards compliance with the labour and environmental standards specified will be checked annually."
The Labour Standards included
- Employment is freely chosen
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
- Child Labour not used (although this was not defined)
- Living wages are paid
- Working hours are not excessive (although this included 'not on a regular basis' clause)
The Code also stated that NI would
- "Provide guidance and reasonable non-financial support to suppliers who genuinely seek to promote and implement the Code standards in their own business and in the relevant supply chains, within available resources."
- "Adopt appropriate methods and systems for monitoring and verifying the achievement of the standards."
The Code stated that NI expected suppliers
- "Accept responsibility for labour and environmental conditions under which products are made... This includes all work contracted or sub-contracted and that conducted by home or other out workers."
- "Report progress in implementing the Code annually, either by describing actions taken to fulfil the Statement of Intent, or by completing a questionnaire as requested New Internationalist."
- "Accept visit by NI staff or their representatives and to show them the parts of their business that are relevant to their compliance with the Code of Conduct."
Ethical Consumer deemed New Internationalist to have an effective if not explicit policy addressing workers' rights within its supply chain. This was because it published a full list of suppliers on its website and had an ethical buying policy which covered ILO conventions as well as provisions for monitoring its suppliers activities.
ethicalshop.org (15 August 2018)