Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Certification

The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for worker’s rights around the globe

Ethical Trading Initiative

What is Ethical Trade?

Ethical trade means that retailers, brands and their suppliers take responsibility for improving the working conditions of the people who make the products they sell. Most of these workers are employed by supplier companies around the world, many of them based in poor countries where laws designed to protect workers' rights are inadequate or not enforced.

Companies with a commitment to ethical trade adopt a code of labour practice that they expect all their suppliers to work towards. Such codes address issues like wages, hours of work, health and safety and the right to join free trade unions.

Why is ETI needed?

With increasing awareness of ethical issues in the workplace, many consumers now favour brands that are committed to ethical trade throughout their supply chain. The lack of a process for managing ethical breaches and risks can lead to tarnished brand reputations and poor financial results. So it is important for companies to verify the social compliance of their suppliers.

'Doing' ethical trade is much harder than it sounds. Modern supply chains are vast, complex and span the globe. Labour issues are themselves challenging. For example,

What exactly is ‘a living wage'?
What should a company do if it finds children working in a supplier's worksite?
Evicting children from the workplace can, paradoxically, make their lives worse.

ETI brings corporate, trade union and voluntary sector members together in a unique alliance that enables us to collectively tackle many thorny issues that cannot be addressed by individual companies working alone.

The ETI Base Code as following Nine Principles

  • Employment is freely chosen
    • There is no forced, bonded or involuntary prison labour.
    • Workers are not required to lodge "deposits" or their identity papers with their employer and are free to leave their employer after reasonable notice.
  • Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
    • Workers, without distinction, have the right to join or form trade unions of their own choosing and to bargain collectively.
    • The employer adopts an open attitude towards the activities of trade unions and their organizational activities.
    • Workers representatives are not discriminated against and have access to carry out their representative functions in the workplace.
    • Where the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under law, the employer facilitates, and does not hinder, the development of parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining.
  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic
    • A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, bearing in mind the prevailing knowledge of the industry and of any specific hazards. Adequate steps shall be taken to prevent accidents and injury to health arising out of, associated with, or occurring in the course of work, by minimizing, so far as is reasonably practicable, the causes of hazards inherent in the working environment.
    • Workers shall receive regular and recorded health and safety training, and such training shall be repeated for new or reassigned workers.
    • Access to clean toilet facilities and to potable water, and, if appropriate, sanitary facilities for food storage shall be provided.
    • Accommodation, where provided, shall be clean, safe, and meet the basic needs of the workers.
    • The company observing the code shall assign responsibility for health and safety to a senior management representative.
  • Child labour shall not be used
    • There shall be no new recruitment of child labour.
    • Companies shall develop or participate in and contribute to policies and programmes which provide for the transition of any child found to be performing child labour to enable her or him to attend and remain in quality education until no longer a child; “child” and “child labour” being defined in the appendices.
    • Children and young persons under 18 shall not be employed at night or in hazardous conditions.
    • These policies and procedures shall conform to the provisions of the relevant ILO standards.
  • Living wages are paid
    • Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or industry benchmark standards, whichever is higher. In any event wages should always be enough to meet basic needs and to provide some discretionary income.
    • All workers shall be provided with written and understandable Information about their employment conditions in respect to wages before they enter employment and about the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned each time that they are paid.
    • Deductions from wages as a disciplinary measure shall not be permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by national law be permitted without the expressed permission of the worker concerned. All disciplinary measures should be recorded.
  • Working hours are not excessive
    • Working hours comply with national laws and benchmark industry standards, whichever affords greater protection.
    • In any event, workers shall not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week and shall be provided with at least one day off for every 7 day period on average. Overtime shall be voluntary, shall not exceed 12 hours per week, shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a premium rate.
  • No discrimination is practiced
    • There is no discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, union membership or political affiliation.
  • Regular employment is provided
    • To every extent possible work performed must be on the basis of recognized employment relationship established through national law and practice.
    • Obligations to employees under labour or social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship shall not be avoided through the use of labour-only contracting, subcontracting, or home-working arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment, nor shall any such obligations be avoided through the excessive use of fixed-term contracts of employment.
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed
    • Physical abuse or discipline, the threat of physical abuse, sexual or other harassment and verbal abuse or other forms of intimidation shall be prohibited. The provisions of this code constitute minimum and not maximum standards, and this code should not be used to prevent companies from exceeding these standards. Companies applying this code are expected to comply with national and other applicable law and, where the provisions of law and this Base Code address the same subject, to apply that provision which affords the greater protection.

Organizations can demonstrate their commitment to improving the working lives of people who work for them, with an audit against the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code.


Based on the conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the ETI Base Code is widely recognized as a model code of labor practice. All member companies and many other retailers and brands have adopted the Base Code and set its principles as key goals for their suppliers. Our ETI audit assesses organizations against the Nine principles of the ETI Base Code:

  • Employment is freely chosen
  • Freedom of association and the right for collective bargaining are respected
  • Working conditions are safe and hygienic
  • Child labor shall not be used
  • Living wages are paid
  • Working hours are not excessive
  • No discrimination is practiced
  • Regular employment is provided
  • No harsh or inhumane treatment is allowed


  • Certification of Environmental Management System (ISO 14001)
  • Certification of Quality Management System (ISO 9001)
  • Certification of critical control points system in food processing industry (HACCP)
  • Certification of food safety management system (ISO 22000)
  • Certification of quality management systems in manufacturers of medical devices (CSN EN ISO 13485)
  • Certification of occupational health and safety management system (OHSAS 18001)
  • Assessment of conformity of products to the requirements of European directives (CE marking of products)
  • Testing of products
  • Voluntary certification ' "ITC" certified quality' mark
  • Technical standardization

If you wish to get Ethical Trading Initiative certification, please send us an enquiry.

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