Kesko's purchasing principles, the Principles and Practice of Socially Responsible Trading guide and various policy statements guide Kesko’s responsible purchasing. Kesko has a Product Research Unit of its own, which monitors the quality of groceries and home and speciality goods sold by K-food stores and K-citymarkets. In 2015, the laboratory analysed over 8,037 product samples and conducted more than 20,396 analyses.
Products bought by Kesko and K-retailers locally include vegetables, root crops and bread. K-retailers' direct purchases from Finnish regions in 2015 totalled €610 million.
One of the objectives of Kesko's responsibility programme is to increase the number of products meeting a responsibility criterion in the Pirkka range. Responsibility criteria include Fairtrade or a corresponding production method, environmental labelling, the MSC certification, the UTZ certification or the CSPO certification for sustainable palm oil.
In its operations, Kesko pays special attention to human rights issues and working conditions across its sourcing chain. Supplier monitoring focuses mainly on countries where the risks that these rights will be violated are the greatest (such as in most Asian and African countries).
Special attention is paid to working conditions in factories located in high-risk countries, despite the small quantity of imports from these countries (1.2% of all Kesko's purchases in 2015).
International assessment systems, BSCI auditing and SA8000 certification, are used for supplier audits in high-risk countries. Kesko is a member of the European Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI).
The Principles and Practice of Socially Responsible Trading guide has been prepared to help Kesko's buyers and suppliers in purchases from high-risk countries.
Since 2015, Kesko has published a list of the factories in high-risk countries manufacturing Kesko’s own brand clothes, accessories, shoes and bags and those imported by the company itself on its website.
Products manufactured by the companies are sold at the K-citymarket and the Kookenkä stores. The own brands of these chains include Impuls, Jess, Henry’s, Lotta & Lassi, Prosec, Andiamo, Piano and Tango.
Most of the own brand products of K-citymarket and Kookenkä imported into Finland come from China and India. All of the own brand clothes, accessories, shoes and bags of Kesko’s chains have markings of origin (country of manufacture).
The list of factories is updated once a year. The list was last updated on 21 June 2016.