Assessing Purchasing Practices Impacts on Suppliers and Workers

Written by Ulula

March 15, 2021

Joint report by Better Buying Institute and Ulula | Originally published Feb 22, 2021

Business resilience in the face of COVID-19 relies strongly on the ability of suppliers and workers to overcome the consequences of this crisis on their businesses and livelihoods. Connecting the dots between brand and retailer purchasing practices and workers’ labor conditions and wellbeing has never been more critical. Better Buying Institute and Ulula have teamed up to deliver a joint report on how COVID-19 has impacted worker job security and sick leave, wages and working hours, and physical safety and mental wellbeing by surveying 1360 workers from 13 factories in Vietnam. More than ever, buyers must work closely with suppliers to improve purchasing practices to mitigate negative impacts on workers.

Some takeaways: 

  • For over 50% of the suppliers, COVID-19 purchasing practices led to increased pressure on business profitability and economic sustainability, as well as increased difficulty in providing good working conditions and wages.
  • Increased management stress, worker overtime, worker layoffs and retrenchment, and worker turnover topped the list of impacts resulting from changing purchasing practices.
  • When buyers followed best practices, it enabled suppliers to follow social distancing guidelines, provide PPE, pay workers in full and on time, provide social benefits, retain workers

Read report

As cited in Sourcing Journal and Just-Style.

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