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How Sedex ensures ethical sugar supply chains
Sourcing sugar on a global scale requires an efficient way of making sure all relevant supply chains operate ethically and transparently. Sedex, one of the world’s leading ethical trade service providers, enables companies like Ragus to do this. Below we outline the measures taken by Sedex, what an audit involves, and the impact its services have on the sugar supply chain.
What is Sedex?
Sedex is an ethical trade service provider, enabling companies to improve their responsible business practices throughout global supply chains. Due to its global reach, over 15 years experience, and a client list that includes the likes of the United Nations, it is one of the world’s leading and most respected organisations of its type.
Sedex’s overarching goal is to improve working conditions throughout supply chains. This is achieved by bringing transparency to all operations, meaning potential shortcomings can be quickly highlighted and eradicated. Sedex’s work spans 35 industry sectors, including food, agriculture, and packaging, with over 60,000 members worldwide.
The nature of the work involves providing tools, services and a large community network to aid sustainable business practice and responsible sourcing. This means reporting on data about suppliers and buyers, risk assessments, audits, training and helping companies manage their own data.
How is the ethical value of a supply chain measured?
The primary means for this is assessments and audits. Sedex is home to one of the most widely used ethical audit methodologies, Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA), which provides audit techniques to measure ethical practice. Before being audited, companies can read the guidance for best practice and check their suppliers’ and/or buyers’ audits to ensure they meet requirements.
An audit involves a meeting with company management, a tour of the site, interviews with staff and a review of documentation. Finally, the auditor will advise on their Corrective Action Plan Report to improve responsible practice. Audits are then uploaded to Sedex Advance to enable other companies you work with to check the sustainability and responsibility of your business to confirm the ethical value of their own supply chain.
Sedex also offers several tools for buyers and sellers to self-assess, prepare for audits and improve their practices. These include an assessment of worker wellbeing, a digital reporting tool to analyse data from a company’s supply chain and risk assessment reports. There are also webinars and workshops available for companies that may be new to the process or want to learn more.
How does Sedex benefit the sugar industry?
While sugar beet is grown in the UK, most of its sugar, primarily from sugar cane, is supplied from overseas. Sedex helps Ragus ensure these suppliers and the resulting supply chains operate in an ethical and transparent way.
Being a member of Sedex also means Ragus can easily review any audits these suppliers have undertaken. Our responsibility includes sourcing quality products from safe and responsible companies, so it is important that we can trace our sugar all the way through its journey from sugar farms to our customers.
With a primary responsibility for manufactured product quality control, Ibrahim works within our supplier chain, factory and production laboratory. He has a focus on continuous improvement, implementing and maintaining our technical and quality monitoring processes, ensuring standards and product specifications are met.