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LONDON – Purchasing practices by apparel brands are unaffected by the length of relationship with suppliers, according to an international survey. 156 suppliers across 24 countries were asked about their experiences with 65 buyers and it was found that over 60 per cent of suppliers were not incentivised for being compliant to buyer codes of conduct, despite many observers believing incentives are essential to improving purchasing practices.

The results are published by Better Buying in its Better Buying Purchasing Practices Index (BBPPI), a benchmark report designed to support industry efforts to improve purchasing practices in supply chains globally.

Better Buying uses data submitted anonymously by suppliers through an online platform to rate the purchasing practices of buyers within the apparel, footwear, and household textiles industries globally.

Marsha Dickson, Better Buying co-founder, said: “Current business practices are unsustainable and need to be overhauled if we expect companies to achieve financial, environmental, and social sustainability goals. Brands and retailers must provide their suppliers with predictable business, sufficient lead times, fair financial deals, and incentives for compliant factories. The BBPPI empowers suppliers to share concerns about poor supply chain management and the issues they face.”

Doug Cahn, Better Buying co-founder, said: ‘’The BBPPI supports brands and retailers, multi- stakeholder initiatives, investors, and other stakeholders looking to improve purchasing practices. Rather than assessing the policies and procedures of buying companies, it instead measures their impact on suppliers using confidential data-driven surveys.”

Better Buying, supported by C&A Foundation and Humanity United, is the first initiative to focus on empowering suppliers and amplifying their voice. The platform tracks and releases performance scores and analysis about purchasing practices, allowing trends to be uncovered. The current benchmark report summarises the results and key findings from the first cycle of BBPPI data collection carried out in Q4 2017.

It includes ratings from 156 suppliers across 24 countries and measures the performance of 65 buyers. Buyer performance is measured against seven key categories of purchasing practices: Planning and Forecasting, Design and Development, Cost and Cost Negotiation, Sourcing and Order Placement, Payment and Terms, Management of the Purchasing Process, and CSR Harmonization.


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