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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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.
Labour Behind the Label is the UK platform of the international NGO Clean Clothes Campaign. In their 2014 report Tailored Wages, the organisation asked 40 high street retailers about their strategies and activities on addressing a living wage for workers in factories making their products.
Primark was rated as Orange. This category, which also included Adidas, H&M, New Look, and Puma, is categorised as "mentioning work on living wages but whose solutions are unconvincing so far".
Primark is one of twenty fashion retailers that has signed up to the Greenpeace Detox campaign as part of its efforts to remove hazardous chemicals from the supply chain.
The Clean Clothes Campaign and International Labour Rights Forum 2013 report, Still Waiting, was published to coincide with the six-month anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse.
The report looks at the actions of retailers, the Bangladesh government, and the garment industry to deal with the aftermath of the Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza factory disasters in Bangladesh.
The report finds that little compensation or support has reached the victims or their families. Primark is acknowledged as being the only retailer, at the time of the report, to have provided support to victims of the Rana Plaza disaster.
SOMO and the India Committee of the Netherlands are NGOs. In their 2012 report, Maid in India they present their findings on working conditions in the south India clothing and textile industry.
They acknowledge the work Primark has done in setting up programmes to deal with concerns at its suppliers in south India, and the positive impact that this work has had.
However, they remain concerned that issues still exist in those spinning mills that are not directly producing cotton for western retailers.
SOMO and the India Committee of the Netherlands are NGOs. In their 2011 report, Captured by Cotton they present their findings on working conditions faced by girls and young women under the Sumangali scheme in south India.
The report claims that, under the scheme, part of a worker’s wages are held back until three or more years of work have been completed. The report finds that while steps have been taken, including by Primark, issues still remain. The report calls on retailers and other stakeholders to take more action.
Labour Behind the Label is the UK platform of the international NGO Clean Clothes Campaign. In their 2011 Let’s Clean Up Fashion report, the organisation asked 29 leading high street retailers about their strategies and activities on addressing a living wage for workers in factories making their products.
Their report gave Primark a grade 3 score, out of a possible top score of grade 5.
Grade 3 is categorised as "can offer concrete examples of steps to increase wages in the supplier base, but there are either significant omissions or there is no clear plan to move beyond pilot projects."
Labour Behind the Label is the UK platform of the international NGO Clean Clothes Campaign.
Their 2008 Let's Clean Up Fashion report The state of pay behind the UK high street reviews retailers' programmes on achieving living wages within the fashion sector.
It outlines four key pillars on which the NGO believes all living wage initiatives should be built.
Primark's programme was at its initial stages when the report was published, and was rated as grade 1.