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UK retailers team up with government to protect supply chains and international workers

UK retailers team up with government to protect supply chains and international workers

The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has launched the ‘vulnerable supply chains’ facility in partnership with some of the UK’s largest retailers such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Marks & Spencer. Retail Gazette reports that the £6.85 million fund includes investment from UK businesses to keep vulnerable workers in their supply chains in safe and secure employment and bids to ensure a steady supply of products like vegetables, coffee and clothes. The fund consists of £4.85 million from the DFID and a £2 million from its retail partners.

The initiative will focus primarily on supply chains and workers in countries including Myanmar, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana. Meanwhile, retailers will work with charities and non-governmental organisations to improve working conditions and support greater access to healthcare in some of the world’s poorest countries.

M&S has pledged to work with international aid charity Care to improve health services for 80,000 factory workers in Bangladesh. The government said the scheme aims to help alleviate the ongoing disruption to international supply chains caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK’s International development secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said, “We want to ensure people in Britain can continue to buy affordable, high-quality goods from around the world. This new fund will strengthen vital supply chains for UK consumers while supporting some of the most vulnerable workers in developing countries. It will make a real difference to people in the UK and abroad.”

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Australia’s organic farming receives funding boost

Australia’s organic farming receives funding boost © Woolworths
© Woolworths

 

Woolworths Organic Growth Fund has awarded $1 million in grants and interest-free loans to four organic farms across Australia. The funding enables the producers to upgrade production systems and develop expansion plans, ensuring that they remain sustainable into the future. 

The four recipients in this second funding round are Gingin Organics, N&A Group, Biofarms Australia and Pairingi Farms, which grow a wide range of fruit and vegetable varieties in Western Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania. The $30 million Fund was established in 2018, and has committed to a five-year partnership with Heritage Bank to help Australian growers meet the increasing consumer demand for organic fruit and vegetables.

Woolworths Head of Produce, Paul Turner, said, “We’re seeing double digit growth in customer demand for organic fruit and vegetables, and believe the trend will only continue over coming years. We’re particularly interested in working with conventional growers who are looking to diversify crops and convert to organic production.