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Trade: UK to work with businesses to improve livelihoods

The UK Government will work with businesses to improve working conditions for farmers and workers in developing countries

International Development Secretary Justine Greening today launched the Trade and Global Value Chains (TGVC) initiative which will work with some of the UK’s biggest high street names to improve working conditions and job opportunities in some of the world’s poorest countries.

The Trade and Global Value Chains initiative will form partnerships between food and clothing retailers, local charities and governments to help farmers and workers employed by suppliers that operate in global supply chains.

These partnerships will focus on improving conditions, training and wages as well as providing healthcare and education in workers’ local communities. By doing this businesses will also develop more sustainable, secure and productive supply chains.

Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, said:

Trade plays a critical role in creating wealth and unlocking the potential of the world’s poorest countries. Many developing countries have the potential to be the growth markets of tomorrow and we are working with them to get there faster.

Through this project, businesses can get involved in improving conditions in the developing countries that form a crucial part of their supply chains. This will develop skills, help build stronger economies and lead to more sustainable supply chains.

The first project to be supported by the TGVC initiative will be a partnership between the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Waitrose Foundation which will increase youth skills and employment in the horticulture value chain in South Africa.

The project will give 16-25 year olds training in the vocational skills that are critical for increasing their job prospects in the sector. It will also help them to develop their leadership skills, provide work placements and shape their own development initiatives in their communities.

Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose, said:

I am delighted that the Department for International Development is supporting the Waitrose Foundation’s youth leadership development programme in South Africa. The programme will enable young people working on Waitrose Foundation farms in South Africa to secure the future of their communities and local economies.

The Waitrose Foundation has raised more than £5.5 million and funded over 300 such projects since it launched seven years ago and I am extremely proud of what it has achieved in that short time.

The Trade and Global Value Chains initiative was launched at the Department for International Development by Justine Greening, International Development Secretary, and Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose on Tuesday 29th January. It will be piloted in Bangladesh, South Africa and Kenya.