of conduct and ethical sourcing
of Conduct is a statement about the ethical standards that a company claims to uphold,particularly regarding workers’
rights and environmental protection. These Codes are voluntary and are usually drawn up by the company itself. Supply chains
are often very complex because of sub-contracting so verification is difficult. Campaigners are trying to establish an agreed
international code which includes independent monitoring.
to conventional world trade. It is a partnership between producers and consumers, based on reciprocal benefit and mutual respect.
Fair Trade ensures producers in the South receive a fair price for the work they do, and gain better access to markets in
the North. It aims to tackle the long-term problems of the South through sustainable development for excluded and disadvantaged
of the process whereby barriers to international trade, eg taxes on foreign imports, have been progressively reduced. This
has resulted in a more open global marketplace for commodities, manufactured goods, capital and services. As a result, the
volume of world trade has increased considerably, along with the number of transnational corporations (TNCs), who now have
easier access to world markets – to buy and sell – and can increase profit margins by moving their manufacturing
operations to low-cost countries.
of socially and environmentally destructive corporations attempting to
and expand their markets by posing as friends of the environment and leaders in the struggle to eradicate poverty. The advantages
of an ethical image are well known, and PR companies openly advise businesses facing criticism to aggressively advertise their
links with good causes, in order to counteract bad publicity.
also known as developed countries Shorthand for the industrialised countries of Europe, North America and Japan. First used by the 1980 ‘Brandt Report’, which described the under-development of the
poor countries (most found south of a line drawn across the globe) by the rich nations of the ‘North’.
south, also known as third world, developing or underdeveloped countries
for the poorer countries of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. However, each collective term has its inadequacies – ‘South’
infers there is a geographical explanation for inequality, ‘Third World’ implies inferiority, ‘majority
world’ is factually true, but not in widespread use, ‘developing’ assumes there is a natural path towards
a western model of development, ‘underdeveloped’ suggests poverty is the result of a process. There are also differences
between countries, so more specific terms are being used – emerging and transition economies, newly industrialising
countries (NICs), least economically developed countries (LEDCs)…
corporation (TNC), also known as multinational corporation (MNC)
which have subsidiaries, investments or operations in more than one country. Annual turnover of some TNCs exceeds £60bn –
their size and wealth gives them great power.
bank (WB) & international monetary fund (IMF)
in 1944, these specialised financial agencies of the United Nations are part of a system which aimed to stabilise the world
economy. The IMF promotes international monetary cooperation and the growth of world trade, and stabilises foreign exchange
rates. The WB provides loans to countries for development projects. Since the 1970s, both organisations have enforced the
move towards a more open, liberalised global economy.
trade organisation (WTO)
in January 1995, the WTO took over from the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) as the forum where the universal
rules governing a single, liberalised, global economy are written. Unlike the GATT, trade rules agreed in WTO negotiations,
are legally binding and can be enforced by the threat of sanctions and compensation payments.