Ethical Sourcing Polcy
Global Sourcing & Supply Ethical Sourcing Standard
Vital Innovations Limited is committed to sourcing quality merchandise and developing partnerships with suppliers who share common principles of fair and honest trading.
We are committed to ensuring that the merchandise (and services) we source are obtained only from suppliers who demonstrate a commitment to maintain satisfactory working conditions, comply fully with all legal requirements and the labour, health and safety standards of those countries in which processes take place.
In addition, we are committed to a continuous improvement approach regarding environmental and social development. We aim to meet the needs of our customers without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. We seek to uphold the following standards in dealings with suppliers:
- We will seek to ensure that local law and good practice is observed for all employment relationships.
- All terms and conditions of employment must be compatible with fair, honest trading practices and have due regard to the welfare of individuals.
- We support a fair and reasonable reward for workers, as a minimum, wages and benefits paid for a standard working week must meet national legal standards or industry benchmark standards.
- Working hours shall not exceed local legal requirements or local norms for the industry. Vital Innovations Limited expectations are for all workers to be allowed at least one day off in seven or at least two days off in fourteen.
- Bribery or corruption will not be tolerated in any form and any attempt to improperly influence Vital Innovations Limited and/or a Vital Innovations Limited authorized agent is strictly prohibited.
- We are opposed to the exploitation of children.
- We oppose the exploitation of workers in general and we will not tolerate forced or bonded labour, slavery, human trafficking or labour practices which involve the harsh or inhumane treatment of workers.
- We uphold the right of workers in conformity with local law to be members of trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.
- Suppliers must ensure that all manufacturing processes are carried out under conditions which have proper and adequate regard for the health and safety of those involved.
- Worker provided living quarters must be safe, hygienic and not compromise the dignity of workers.
- We are opposed to discrimination in all of its forms.
- We recognise our responsibility to the environment and will seek to ensure that our suppliers do not operate in ways which could impact adversely upon the local or global environment by ensuring they comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
We require all suppliers to observe the principles of this code and require that our suppliers, in turn, ensure similar principles are shared with their suppliers, manufacturers and/or contractors. We reserve the right to carry out announced and unannounced assessments of our suppliers to ensure that the required standards are being met at all times.
We will only trade with those suppliers who are open and transparent to the process of assessment and who are working towards compliance with our code. Suppliers must maintain proper and accurate employment, payroll and working time records for the assessment when it is needed.
In the event of any supplier failing to do so, we maintain the right to end the business relationship and cancel outstanding purchase orders. We do however recognise that in the event of non-compliance, withdrawal of our business may cause severe hardship to those employed and will therefore attempt to work with our suppliers to move towards compliance.
Sourcing & Supply Ethical Sourcing Standard Guiding Principles
Our core principles draw upon International standards, including the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and recommendations, which in turn are based on the United Nations (UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Convention on Rights of the Child.
Vital Innovations Limited is committed to applying and implementing all elements of this Code and its Guiding Principles. There is an understanding that certain elements will not be tolerated under any circumstances such as:
- Child Labour
- Convict/Indentured/Forced Labour
- Corporal Punishment
- Slavery and Human Trafficking
- Acts of Bribery
- Serious accidents (including fires) with fatalities or multiple injuries
- Environmental incidents with significant impact on environment
Within this understanding it is recognised that other elements are aspirational and remediation will not always be able to be achieved immediately. In these circumstances we will work with our suppliers and key stakeholders to create tangible sustainable change towards the standards described.
- Prohibited Labour, Slavery, Human Trafficking and other Prohibited Conduct
We totally oppose the exploitation of workers and do not tolerate forced or bonded labour, slavery, human trafficking or labour practices which involve the harsh or inhumane treatment of workers. Suppliers must not use any form of bonded, forced, indentured or other illegal labour, any form of slavery or human trafficking or any other prohibited conduct.
Suppliers shall not require employees to lodge a deposit, original passport or original identity papers as a condition of employment. All employees shall be free to leave their employer after reasonable notice.
In addition, suppliers shall not use workers who lack the requisite work permits or authority to lawfully provide services. To the extent that a supplier uses workers that are employed through an agency, then the supplier shall ensure agencies comply with all applicable labour laws and regulations.
- Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
We are opposed to discrimination in any form. There must be no discrimination or harassment during recruitment or employment on the basis of (but not limited to) race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership, ethnic/national origin, military status or political affiliation. Suppliers must not retaliate against workers following grievance procedures or for otherwise opposing an unlawful employment practice.
- Freedom of Association and the Right to Collective Bargaining
We uphold the right of workers in conformity with local law to be members of trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively. Suppliers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to their workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. Where this is restricted under law, the supplier facilitates, and does not hinder, the development of parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining.
Workers’ representatives must be allowed access to the workplace to carry out their functions and must not be discriminated against.
- Terms and Conditions of Employment and Wages and Benefits
All terms and conditions of employment must be compatible with fair, honest trading practices and have due regard to the welfare of individuals.
We support a fair and reasonable reward for workers. Wages and benefits must be paid for a standard working week must as a minimum meet local legal minimum wage criteria or local norms for the industry.
Workers must be provided with written, understandable information relating to their wages and any deductions for each pay period. Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure must not be permitted nor must any deductions from wages be taken that are not in compliance with all applicable legal requirements.
- Working Hours
Working hours must not exceed local legal requirements or local norms for the industry. Vital Innovations Limited expects that all workers to be allowed at least one day off in a seven-day period or at least two days off in a fourteen-day period.
Worker participation in overtime must be entirely voluntary, and will be paid in accordance with local legal requirements as a minimum.
- Child Labour
We are absolutely opposed to the exploitation of children. Suppliers must not employ any worker in breach of the minimum age for work determined by applicable laws and regulations. Where employment of minors is permitted by law, suppliers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations governing such employment. In the event that there is no applicable law or regulation relating to minimum age for work, no supplier shall employ any worker younger than 15 years of age in line with ILO conventions on child labour.
People younger than 18 years of age must not be expected to work at night or carry out activities that are potentially hazardous or harmful to their health and development.
If underage workers are found working, the supplier involved must cease the practice and provide remediation. This must include support for the child to attend and remain in education until the national minimum working age, or 15, or mandatory schooling age whichever is oldest. Suppliers shall clearly document and communicate their policies for dealing with underage children, even if there are no known children employed.
- Health and Safety
Suppliers must ensure that all manufacturing processes are carried out under conditions which have proper and adequate regard for the health and safety of their workers. Suppliers must comply with all applicable laws and regulations that pertain to health and safety in the workplace and in any employer-provided living quarters, ensuring as a minimum a safe and hygienic environment is provided.
- Bribery and Corruption
Bribery or corruption will not be tolerated in any form throughout our supply chain.
- Employment Practices
All recruitment and employment practices must at a minimum meet local and national employment law and good practice.
- Management Systems; Monitoring and Documentation
Suppliers must have an effective management system to accurately reflect compliance with the standards set out in our guiding principle. Supplier’s must effectively document and maintain management systems and make such systems accessible to Vital Innovations Limited or its authorised agents for inspection as requested.
- Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection
Vital Innovations Limited recognizes its responsibility to the environment and seeks to ensure that our suppliers do not operate in ways which could impact adversely upon the global or local environment and that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Vital Innovations Limited is committed to improving the sustainability of its products and services by working with our suppliers to continually improve our products through the adoption of a balanced approach to reducing the social, economic and environmental impacts throughout the supply chain.
- Monitoring and Verification
We will take all reasonable and practical steps, including on-site assessments and surveillance visits, to ensure that the required standards are adopted by our suppliers and in turn by their suppliers at all times.
- Development of the Code
We recognize that this Code must be developed to reflect practical experience and changing circumstances. We will continue to develop and share best practice with stakeholders so that we can all make real progress together.