Argos recognises ICTI certification | 7 January 05

A major step forward in the programme to improve working conditions in Chinese toy factories has been taken with the news that major retailer Argos has accepted the International Council of Toy Industries (ICTI) CARE Process.

This has now been recognised as an approved programme through which factories can satisfy Argos requirements for labour standards and worker rights. Argos will expect its toy suppliers to demonstrate that their factories comply with the ICTI Code of Business Practices or to the Argos Ethical Trading Principles.

Christian Ewert, Chief Operating Officer for the ICTI CARE Process, said: "We are delighted to learn that the outstanding team effort of the British Toy & Hobby Association (BTHA) and ICTI has resulted in the recognition of the ICTI CARE Process by Argos. We take this recognition as an endorsement of our transparent and credible process which aims to achieve better working conditions in Asian toy factories."

Maria Thompson, Commercial Director of the Argos Retail Group added: "For several years now, we have demanded that all our suppliers, including toy suppliers, demonstrate that their factories comply with the Argos Ethical Trading Principles. It is very encouraging to see the toy industry take this initiative and we are happy to recognise the ICTI CARE Process as an Argos approved programme."

Clive Jones, Chairman of the BTHA also commented: "This is a great New Year present for the toy industry worldwide and, in particular, for the employees in Chinese toy factories who make over 70% of the world's toys. Argos is to be congratulated on the leadership it has displayed."