Ruia Group is a family run UK business, which was established in the 1950’s.
Ruia Group primarily procures textile products from the Far East, Indian Sub-Continent, Middle East and Europe and distributes and supplies to customers in the UK, Europe and further afield.
In 2009, Ruia Group joined the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) to highlight and develop better ethical practices within the whole of its supply chains, and an ethical policy was created to assist Ruia Group’s business practices. This Policy focuses upon the 9 key principles of the ETI Base code which include, employment being freely chosen, child labour shall not be used, and no harsh or inhumane treatment being allowed. Ruia Group has benefitted greatly from the training provided by the ETI, and such training has assisted the Group’s due diligence process in making careful decisions of regions, countries, and suppliers that may be at risk of breaching the ETI Base Code.
Key suppliers are audited by a third party, audits are conducted on a regular basis. The reports are assessed and non-compliances are worked upon to be closed off.
There are many suppliers that have traded with Ruia Group for more than 15 years and these relationships are constantly nurtured through regular visits to factories, trade exhibitions and visits by the supplier to the UK. The Group’s ethos has always been to have strong long term supplier relationships which have been a key factor in the Group’s success.
Regular training takes place to ensure that good practice has been assimilated by directors, buyers and product developers alike. Since 2011, this process has been greatly enhanced through Ruia Group’s membership of Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange). Suppliers are also given information about the ETI Base Code, which has been translated into local languages. Furthermore, a small Shanghai office has been created that has assisted the Group to monitor and support its’ suppliers more diligently and effectively, by breaking down language barriers in a, sometimes, challenging environment.
Ruia Group, as a member of the ETI, is required to complete an Annual Report which self-evaluates its progress around ETI principles. It is happy to report that it has moved from Foundation to Improver level. This Annual Report process requires the Group to look inwardly and self-critically at the successes and failures of its’ ethical practices over the past year.
At Board level, ethical issues are raised at the quarterly board meetings and matters are addressed. All directors and buyers are regularly up-dated with information through briefings, meetings and, in certain cases, bespoke training courses. Ruia Group participates in the annual ETI and Sedex Conferences, whilst attending many other training courses throughout the year.