The Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing Program will be launched on 1 August 2019. The Program has been developed to enable suppliers to demonstrate that the goods and/or services that they sell are produced ethically and that raw materials are sourced responsibly.

The BRCGS Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing Program has been launched to provide a framework for an evaluation of the management system of an organisation and its capability and capacity to deliver against the principles of ethical trade and responsible sourcing.

The requirements of the Program are derived from and formulated around six key principles. These are that:

  • senior management is committed
  • the management system has the necessary capacity and capability to effectively implement and uphold the requirements of this Program
  • labour standards are fair and equitable
  • the workplace is safe and healthy, and the welfare of workers is assured
  • basic human rights are recognised and upheld
  • corporate governance is effective


The Program is intended to assist manufacturers, secondary processing/packaging sites, as well as service providers (such as labour providers or cleaning services) and their customers to comply with legislative requirements for ethical trade and responsible sourcing whilst at the same time safeguarding the rights and protecting the freedoms of people in the workplace. These issues differ in detail worldwide but generally requires sites to adhere to:

  • relevant conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the requirements of the
  • Ethical Trading Initiative’s (ETI) Base Code and the UN’s Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights
  • local and national labour and health and safety laws and regulations
  • local and national legislation relating to anti-bribery, anti-corruption, fraud, information security and data protection


“The BRCGS Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing program has been developed – in part – as a response to changes in buying behaviors and consumer assurance demands but mostly in recognition of the important role people play and the impact they have on sustainability. Rather than replacing existing knowledge, our program has been developed to build on and add value to it and we look forward to working with our key stakeholders as we bring this program to life and deliver assurance that not only evaluates compliance today but also considers business performance to help secure tomorrow”

Mike Wilson BRCGS Global Head – Ethical Trade and Responsible Sourcing