The trade associations for the convenience retailing and wholesale sectors are teaming up with their members and major suppliers to define and promote standards of behaviour between individuals from different companies working together.

The “Dignity at Work Charter” will be a positive statement of behaviour standards that companies can include in their own company policies and that businesses can sign up to.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The convenience and wholesale sectors are fantastic places to work, learn and develop skills, and the relationships that are forged across companies make this one of the most exciting industries to be part of.

“The Charter will capture the best of these relationships and interactions between people from different companies working together and engaging at industry events and in day-to-day trading.

“We will be asking companies to support the Charter, to promote these standards, and to make sure that where these are not met, and where people are made to feel uncomfortable or excluded, that is confronted.”

FWD chief executive James Bielby said: “This is an excellent initiative that we are delighted to be leading alongside ACS. Our vision is for a sector where everyone feels comfortable and supported working not just with their own colleagues, but with partners from other businesses. Promoting high standards based on common standards can help us to attract and retain the best people to our sector.”