HC Deb 22 January 1998 vol 304 c657W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what progress has been made in discussions with industry and commerce on ethical trading and the labelling of goods to give information on the ethics of their production. [22872]

Mrs. Roche

Increasingly companies are responding to consumers interests by voluntarily adopting codes of practice to help ensure the ethical production of their goods, including those originating overseas. The Government support the Ethical Trading Initiative, a partnership between business, non-governmental organisations and unions which aims to promote the use of such codes, the pursuit of best practice in monitoring them and developing a positive engagement between importers and suppliers to help the latter comply with the codes. The ultimate aim is the universal ethical production of goods sold in the UK. Some goods are already marketed with an indication of ethical production, and moves towards widespread transparency will be welcomed.