Associated British Foods statement for Primark on “True Cost”

01 June 2015

Statement from Primark Stores

A spokesman said:

“Primark takes the standards in its supply chain very seriously indeed, and we work hard to ensure our products are made in good working conditions, and that the people making them are treated properly and paid a fair wage.”

The company works constantly to improve conditions in its supply chain, and has a robust programme in place as detailed on its ethics website at, as well as expert teams on the ground in its sourcing countries. It’s a common misconception that workers are paid less to make clothes for Primark. Our clothes may be better value than other retailers, but we use exactly the same suppliers as other big retail brands. Around 98 percent of our suppliers also manufacture for other retailers, from high street shops through to luxury brands. Workers receive the same hourly wage regardless of which brand they are working for.

Primark firmly believes that the textile and garment industry creates jobs for many people who would otherwise not have employment. What matters is that those jobs are in good working conditions and paid fairly. This is entirely possible when trade is linked to ethical principles. If the company finds issues in its supply chain, it deals with them.

Specifically, Primark –

  • Carries out its own audits of supplier factories, about 2,400 in 2014
  • Takes health and safety extremely seriously, and is a signatory to the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh
  • Supports workers knowing their rights, and works with NGOs in sourcing countries to educate workers
  • Has supported minimum wage increases in key sourcing countries
  • Recognised by Greenpeace as a Detox Leader for its stringent chemical management policy, which complies fully and goes beyond EU legislation

Since the Rana Plaza building collapse, Primark has sought to lead the industry’s response to the disaster by paying long-term compensation to workers from its supplier in the building, as well as by providing support to workers who were making clothes for competitors. Specifically, the company has paid $14 million in long-term compensation and short-term measures to alleviate hardship.

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