Our Values in Action – A Public Pledge
Our Supplier Code of Conduct embraces the best practices of our supply chain and outlines the specific expectations and requirements we have of this community. The code is centered around five areas that are important to our brand, our customers and our supply chain, including:
Food safety and food ingredients;
Farm animal health and well-being;
Human rights and labor practices;
Environmentally sustainable business practices;
and business ethics and integrity.
The code goes above and beyond the requirements laid out in The Wendy’s Company and Quality Supply Chain Cooperative’s Codes of Business Conduct and Ethics.
When it was originally issued in 2016, the code applied to U.S. suppliers of food, paper and packaging. In 2017, we expanded the code to include all U.S. and Canadian contracts managed by Quality Supply Chain Cooperative, and to other suppliers that provide a significant stream of goods or services to The Wendy’s Company on an annual basis beyond those suppliers managed by Quality Supply Chain Cooperative.
At the end of 2020, the Wendy’s North America supply chain encompassed about 450 suppliers, which includes more than 300 food and packaging manufacturing and processing facilities and about 30 distribution centers, which are all covered by the code. Our largest volume of supplier facilities are in the areas of meat protein packing and processing (~100), produce (~80), dairy products (~50), packaging (~50) and bakery items (~30).
We require suppliers to affirm each year that they have received and understand the expectations under the code, and certain provisions of the code include additional assurances and requirements. For instance, all food suppliers are subject to regular food safety testing protocols and audits. Suppliers of fresh produce and fresh beef have heightened food safety requirements. And suppliers of meat products undergo first- and third-party animal welfare audits and reviews. These heightened standards were developed and informed based on previous risk-based assessments.
We continue to work with third-party groups and experts on matters related to ESG and Good Done Right. This input helps Wendy’s continue to evaluate and make informed decisions on possible changes, expansions or updates to the code, as appropriate.
In 2017, we expanded the code to include additional assurances and requirements related to human rights and labor practices. The decision to expand the code was due in part to the nature of agricultural work, its workforce and an evaluation of various risk factors.
Consequently, the code now requires third-party reviews related to the human rights and labor practices for suppliers of hand-harvested, whole, fresh produce such as tomatoes, lettuce and berries.
Wendy’s requirements for human rights and labor practice assurances require certain fresh produce suppliers to undergo a third-party assessment. Unlike areas such as food safety and animal welfare, in which there are industry-wide or global standard assessments and auditing certifications, there does not today exist a singular human rights and labor practices assessment that is broadly used or accepted by all sectors and geographies of agricultural work.
In creating this section of the code, Wendy’s has consulted with experts and evaluated numerous human rights and labor practices frameworks and authorities most prevalent in the U.S. The code’s expectations for suppliers related to appropriate human rights and labor practices:
In addition to the assurances and third-party assessments required by the code, we also conduct our own regular Quality Assurance audits of the farms, plants, facilities and other operations locations of our suppliers. During these visits our Wendy’s Quality Assurance auditors observe operations conditions of our suppliers. These audits include some observational questions related to worker welfare, safety and health.
Click to access Wendy’s Supplier Code of Conduct