UK parliament
Image Source: Alan Cleaver
Chloe Shakesby

Government partners with high street names for £6.85m global supply chain fund

The government has announced this morning that it is launching a new programme to help high street businesses strengthen global supply chains.

The funding, which is made up of £4.85m aid from the Department for International Development (DFID) and £2m from businesses, will focus primarily on supply chains and workers in developing countries.

The new Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility will help to ensure that the supply of products from these countries will continue after the challenges posed by the pandemic, as well as to support jobs overseas.

The government is partnering with UK businesses including Morrisons, Tesco, Marks & Spencer and Primark with expert organisations such as CARE UK, the Fairtrade Foundation and the Ethical Trading Initiative to improve working conditions and support greater access to healthcare and health information for workers in some of the world’s poorest countries.

International development secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan commented: “We want to ensure people in Britain can continue to buy affordable, high quality goods from around the world.

“This new fund will strengthen vital supply chains for UK consumers, while supporting some of the most vulnerable workers in developing countries. It will make a real difference to people in the UK and abroad.”

Overall, the government predicts that 970,000 people in developing companies will be helped by the scheme.

Peter McAllister, executive director at Ethical Trading Initiative, said: “ETI welcomes the active role DFID is playing in supporting vulnerable workers in global supply chains.

“The East African agricultural workers who supply so much of our food and flowers have been hit hard by Covid-19, and DFID’s support for this intervention will help protect thousands of jobs, and protect workers from infection as the regional economy begins to recover.”

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