So we were listening to various twaddle-mongers on Radio 4 today and there was talk of Uber which sparked a comment to himself that I feel the opportunity for exploitation of drivers is too great for me to want to support and use such. And I realised that yesterday I bought some clothes at bargain prices at Asda Living but do not know if the people who made those clothes are paid fairly.
Time to find out and start standing by these scruples I like to think I have…
On the Asda website I can see all kinds of community supporting goings-on, lots of sustainability and price guaranteeing, but it is less obvious to find out more about where the clothes are made, about the standards they insist upon from their suppliers.
Digging further, then, and a google search offers the Asda supplier website and their Ethics page begins with:
ASDA Walmart Policy on Ethical Trading
Walmart Europe has developed this Policy, to ensure that when our customers buy from Walmart they know they are buying goods produced without exploitation and in acceptable & sustainable working conditions.
Quite why there isn’t a more obvious link from the main website, I don’t know. And I would really love to know just how they manage to sell pyjama bottoms for £5 and support their policy. To know that farmers are paid a fair price for their milk so that they can afford to keep farming. Now that would be a good programme to make, don’t you think? Ideally by someone with no axe to grind, no ulterior motive, or spin to suggest, or policy to be seen to be supporting.
It is easy for me to say that we should pay fairly – fair in a way to everyone along the chain – I can afford to pay for a black cab when in London, to buy free-range eggs, to shop at M&S – not everyone can do that, which of course is wrong, but we have to start somewhere. If people at the root of things can afford to live realistically then surely this goes on to affect all the things… Naive? Maybe, but would this not make sense? Now may not be the ideal time to take such a stance, post the Brexit vote, but what would the results be meantime? Even if we start here in the UK – ensure business owners, farmers, producers can both earn a living themselves and pay their workers fairly – it has to be a good start, surely…