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LONDON – The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) has hidden behind “internal processes” in response to calls for it to expel members over their refusal to pay their bills to suppliers. The ETI issued clear guidance to its members about the issue of cancelled orders in early April which said it expects brands to pay for completed orders “in reasonable time” while sharing supplier costs with ongoing orders.

Since that time, it has become apparent that several prominent ETI members – notably Primark, C&A and Asda (George) – have clearly breached such guidelines. George, the clothing arm of Asda, was recently exposed as demanding 50 per cent discounts from suppliers for completed orders – a black and white case for the ETI, if ever there was one.

German retailer C&A and UK retailer Primark, meanwhile, have both dragged their heels over the issue, and neither has yet to cede to the very clear stipulations laid down by the ETI.

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