Big brands should be aware of the importance of supply chain risk assessments and having comprehensive modern slavery polices in place which are also regularly monitored to ensure that no part of their supply chain could bring their brand into disrepute. Policy is only the fist step, it is critical to then carry out a comprehensive risk assessment and where risks are identified that additional measures are taken to ensure that there is total adherence. Whilst we will have to see the details from the Tesco case before passing any judgements, it is a timely reminder for everyone to ensure that their houses are in order.
Burmese workers that produced F+F jeans for Tesco in Thailand report being trapped in effective forced labour, working 99-hour weeks for illegally low pay in appalling conditions, a Guardian investigation has found. Tesco faces a landmark lawsuit in the UK from 130 former workers at VK Garment Factory (VKG), who are suing them for alleged negligence and unjust enrichment. The workers made jeans, denim jackets and other F&F clothes for adults and children for the Thai branch of Tesco’s business between 2017 and 2020. Tesco said the garments were sold only on the Thai market, though the Guardian has seen images of labels written in English on clothes understood to be made there. Profits from sales in Thailand went back to the UK.