Annual performance

Our performance 2015

Primark is part of (ABF) Associated British Foods, and you can read about our performance in the ABF Corporate Responsibility Report by visiting the ABF website.  We also provide detailed annual performance data, as below.

KPMG has provided limited assurance over the collation of selected performance data for the years ended 31 December 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014  and 2015 marked with symbols Δ, λ, Ω ∂, α and ∞ respectively. The full assurance statements can be read here.

Annual performance data 2015

Our Code of Conduct forms part of the terms and conditions that suppliers sign up to.

Every factory that supplies our product is audited against the Code of Conduct prior to placing orders. All factories which became suppliers to Primark before this system was in place have since been covered by the annual audit process.

Our audit protocol and methodology is robust and based upon best practice and can only be conducted by Primark-approved external auditors, or our own internal team.

We prioritise audits based upon risk. Risk criteria includes: level of turnover with a supplier, proportion of a suppliers’ production that is dedicated to Primark, the country of manufacture, and the production process.

Once audited, factories are rated by our internal team.  If they meet our minimum standards we will approve them for production. Any factories with critical or zero tolerance issues would not be approved. 

In Indonesia, Vietnam, and Cambodia we are partners of Better Work, an IFC (International Finance Corporation) and ILO (International Labour Organisation) programme which provides audits, remediation, and training for suppliers.

We have an online supplier management system which allows us to analyse key trends and report in detail on supplier performance at country and product / departmental level. This information feeds into our training and capacity building strategy for suppliers.

KPMG has provided independent limited assurance over the description of the Primark Code of Conduct Compliance Process for Supplier Factories for the year ended 31 December 2011 (“the Stated Process”) as described here. Their full assurance report is set out here on our Website.

  • 2015: 2629 audits conducted 
  • 2014: 2412 audits conducted α
  • 2013: 2058 audits conducted 
  • 2012: 1825 audits conducted Ω
  • 2011:  1727 audits conducted λ
  • 2010: 1266 audits conducted Δ
  • 2009: 1136 audits conducted 

Sites are rated according to their compliance status with grade 1 being the best and 3 the weakest

Note that the following data relates to site ratings, not individual audit ratings. A site can have had multiple audits during the reporting period.
In summary, the ratings are:

  • Grade 1: Good systems in place to ensure ethical compliance, limited number of minor issues
  • Grade 2: Evidence of some good systems in place, however, not achieved full ethical compliance
  • Grade 3: Ethical compliance not met, with significant and numerous issues

Audit 2015

The most frequent non-compliances identified during audits fall under the category of working conditions ∞. These can range from poor chemical labelling and storage of materials to lack of machine guards or fire safety. Living wages and working hours, including excessive overtime, remain challenges for us. We aim to reduce their occurrence through greater focus on the implementation of proper management systems and efficiency measures.

Data point


Number of audits conducted

Number of factories audited against Primark’s Code of Conduct during the calendar year; and the 23 factories which have been audited on behalf of the ILO and we have accepted these audits in place of our own. This figure includes 22 incomplete audits where we were unable to gather all relevant information during the factory audits. In these cases we perform additional follow up investigations

Most frequent non-compliances identified

Most frequent category of non-compliances identified following factory audits during the calendar year. Primark’s Code of Conduct includes twelve categories of non-compliances

Ratings for all sites audited

Percentage of factories at grade 1, 2 and 3 following a Primark Code of Conduct audit during the calendar year. Where a factory has had more than one audit in the year, the latest audit result is used

Tier 1 suppliers factories

Factories who manufacture our finished products

Ethical Trading Initiative Annual Report

The ETI is an alliance of retailers, trade unions and voluntary organisations that work together to improve the lives of workers in garment supply chains around the world 

Ethical Trading Initiative status

Primark has held the ETI Leader status since 2011. 

This is a significant achievement and demonstrates the hard work and commitment made by Primark in ensuring that workers making our products are paid fairly, treated well, and work in decent conditions. However, we recognise that we still have further to go and there is still much more that we can do both individually at Primark or in collaboration with other retailers, NGOs and stakeholders.

The ETI recognises four progressive stages of a company’s commitment to, and performance of ethical trading. These are Foundation, Improver, Achiever, and Leader. The ETI classifies a Leader as  “tackling the root causes of labour rights problems beyond individual workplaces with collaborative initiatives aimed at the sectoral level and / or in raw materials or components supply. The company can demonstrate positive impacts for workers in its supply chain and reports transparently on progress. The company is advocating for greater respect for workers' rights throughout its sphere of influence.”  Ethical Trading Initiative Management Benchmarks 2010

The ETI Annual Report looked at Primark’s performance against a wide range of benchmarks that included our commitment to the ETI; our systems of monitoring, reporting and independent verification; awareness raising and training on ethical trading issues; improvements and corrective actions at an individual factory level; our management procedures, pricing and incentives.

The report is reviewed by the ETI Secretariat, and by a non-governmental organisation. Organisations which have reviewed our report have included Save the Children, and Anti-Slavery International. This combined feedback helps us to improve and grow our programme each year.

More views on Primark

External organisations and stakeholders including NGOs (non-governmental organisations) and campaign groups frequently report on the performance of retailers and brands including Primark and its competitors. 

Other reports take an in-depth look at the issues and challenges within the garment and retail sector.

Issues have included eradicating child labour, understanding and improving wages, and achieving transparency in supply chains. 

Below is a selection of reports that have referenced Primark and the work we are doing. 

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