Czarnikow’s Sedex Membership

October 20, 2022

Keziah Cardoza

  • SEDEX is a membership organisation that helps companies to improve the working conditions in their supply chains. 
  • Czarnikow (CZ)’s SEDEX membership is important because it ensures our supply chains are ethical and sustainable, which is vital to match our clients’ values and standards.  

What is Sedex? 

Sedex stands for Supplier Ethical Data Exchange, which is an online system that aims to improve the effectiveness of buying companies’ ethical trade strategies by offering a facility for supplier companies to share their audits with multiple customers. 

Companies with Sedex memberships improve working conditions in their supply chains through a series of self-assessment questionnaires (SAQs) that evaluate the performance of a company. The questions focus on different aspects of a company including staff, buildings, health and safety, environment, and ethical practice. Sedex provide practical tools, services, and an online community, which helps companies to improve their responsible and sustainable business practices.  

CZ and Sedex 

For the last few years CZ has been a proud member of Sedex. This membership is maintained by completing an annual SAQ receiving and implementing feedback on how to further mitigate workplace conditions risks in CZ’s supply chains. The decision to join Sedex was inspired by our clients enrolled in the VIVE programme – CZ’s continuous improvement sustainability programme helping establish sustainable supply chains from producer to end-user. Through our membership we are committing to helping ensure that our operations in global supply chains are ethical and sustainable. 

How does Sedex define ethical sourcing?  

Ethical sourcing is an approach used in sourcing and supply chains. It means that when a business purchases products from suppliers, they are considering the impacts the product had on the people and communities involved in their manufacturing. Sedex members prioritise sourcing ethically and take responsibility for the impact that their business decisions may have on the people involved in their supply chains. It also helps to increase transparency of ethical risks throughout the whole supply chain. Though ethical and sustainable sourcing are very similar concepts, ethical sourcing has a stronger emphasis on the social impact and humane working conditions within the supply chain, whereas sustainable sourcing focuses more on the environmental impacts. The Sedex SAQ helps companies to identify where their ethical risks are and gets them to understand these risks and work to implement mitigating them. Ethical sourcing in Sedex means that products and services from each point of a business’s supply chain are obtained in an ethical way, which includes upholding rights, decent working conditions, health and safety, good business ethics and more. when businesses purchase products from suppliers, they consider the impacts those products have on the people and communities who create them. 

Why is the membership important? 

Having a Sedex membership comes with wide range of benefits. These include: 

  • Preventing and mitigating financial risk. 
  • Provides an efficient and cost-effective way of communicating with customers. 
  • Helping to comply with national and international laws. 
  • Accessing a global network of data from current suppliers.  

It also helps to promote transparency across the supply chain through a range of services the membership provides and the global network it gives access to. Being part of the Sedex network means we can compare our practices to other companies across the network.  

How does Sedex relate to VIVE?  

 The Sedex programme aligns with the values of CZ’s own sustainability programme, VIVE. Both programmes aim to ensure that the correct systems are in place to mitigate sustainability risks and provide traceability and transparency throughout food ingredient supply chains. Every year, CZ takes a Sedex self-assessment quiz (SAQ), which helps us to establish and understand which areas of compliance and sustainability needs to be improved. An example of this is the creation of an emergency action plan that is signposted in CZ’s London office and communicated in the onboarding process for new employees.  

How does the membership contribute to ESG? 

The Sedex membership is helping CZ meet our environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria. The membership encourages companies to improve their current ESG practices and work towards better ones that make a larger impact. Examples of ESG criteria include working against child labour, forced labour, discrimination, freedom of association and health & safety3. Through this membership CZ can gain visibility of supply chain to identify & manage ESG risks and view the ESG performance of the business and suppliers, it also allows to share performance with executive team, investors, and consumers. 


  1. Sedex. Available at: Sedex Website 
  1. Sedex. Available at: What does ethically sourced mean? 
  1. Sedex. Available at: 5 Priority social risks for meeting ESG requirements 

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