In August 2018 Ethical Consumer received a questionnaire response from Green Tulip with information about its supply chain management.
The company stated "We don’t have an official policy but as mentioned we ask a lot of questions. We do sell some certified fair trade items but most of the categories of products we buy do not have the certified fair trade option available. We buy some WFTO products, some BAFTS products, some GOTS products that have a social audit as part of their certification etc. We also buy from some producers that we know are made in factories that have an ethical trade Sedex audit. Finally we buy a lot from small UK companies that make the products themselves or with their small team."
Ethical Consumer viewed Green Tulip's website which stated that it "came up with six ethical categories that we felt summarised the main features of ethical products... Each product on the site has icons indicating which of the ethical categories it falls into, and a section with information specific to that range called ‘Ethics’."
The company also included information about the Brand on each product page and there was a full list of suppliers available on its website.
Ethical Consumer expected ethical online retailers with a turnover of less than £10.2m to have the following in terms of a supply chain management:
1. Does the company have a publicly available policy which states what criteria suppliers must meet in order to be included on the website?
Green Tulip did have "ethical standards" with which it categorised products on its website. However it was unclear whether each product had to meet every standard or just one.
2. Does the company have a publicly available policy which states what workers' rights suppliers must meet?
While Green Tulip sold some products which were Fair Trade certified or from organisations that adhered to fair trade principles it was unclear what labour standards other products it listed on its website had to adhere to.
3. Does the company have a publicly available policy which states how the company plans to monitor suppliers' compliance i.e. this might be through an annual questionnaire or through third party accreditation?
Green Tulip stated in an email that "We ask a lot of questions, uncover all of the factual information, and then include this in our ethics tab on every product on the site. We constantly find it amazing how little information some brands provide – and we know our customers really want to know what their product is made from and where it is made."
4. Does the company have a publicly available list of current suppliers and if possible what ethical criteria they meet.
Yes Green Tulip had this on its website with details on the suppliers' page
Green Tulip received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for its supply chain management policies. While the company provided products which had 'ethical' credentials it was unclear how workers' rights were defined and assessed within each supplier. However the company did publish its suppliers and information regarding their business activities and practices.
Questionnaire (15 August 2018)