In August 2018 Ethical Consumer received a questionnaire response from Spark Etail.
With regards to its supply chain management it provided a link to its Supplier Code of Conduct and its Buying Policy.
Supply chain policy (reasonable)
Its Supplier Code of Conduct stated "suppliers of ours are required to comply with the following" including adequate clauses on child labour, forced labour, employment free from discrimination, freedom of association and living wages.
With regards to hours the company stated workers must not on a 'regular' basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week. Ethical Consumer considered this clause insufficent as it did not define a maximum overtime limit.
Overall Spark Etail was considered to have a reasonable supply chain policy.
Stakeholder engagement (poor)
Spark Etail did not appear to be a member of any multi-stakeholder initiatives. In its Buy Policy Spark Etail stated "We prefer to work with like-minded brands who hold certifications from ethical organisations such as the Fairtrade Foundation or Soil Association among others, as these ensure companies are audited and as a small business who resells brands, we do not have the resource to audit every individual factory used by the brands we sell." The company was not considered to have systematic third party verificaiton of labour standards within its supply chain as not all products were covered by certification schemes.
Overall Spark Etail was considered to have a poor stakeholder engagement policy.
Auditing and reporting (poor)
Spark Etail stated in its code of conduct that it would set corrective action plans where needed for suppliers. However no further details were given on how it monitored its supply chain.
Overall Spark Etail was considered to have a poor approach to auditing and reporting
Difficult issues (poor)
Spark Etail did not appear to be addressing any difficult issues found within its supply chains.
Spark Etail Ltd was owned by Spark Response Limited - a company which had a turnover over £10.2m. It was therefore considered to be a medium size company. As it had some policies towards guaranteeing workers' rights within its supply chain it received Ethical Consumer's middle rating for supply chain management.
Questionnaire (29 August 2018)