Major UK retailers including Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Primark were among 20 retailers called to a Government meeting to discuss how clothing can be produced in safe conditions following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh.

The Department for International Development (DFID) met retailers, including Topshop parent Arcadia, and industry bodies including the Ethical Trading Initiative, to discuss improving supply chains and working conditions for factory employees.

International development secretary Justine Greening and international development minister Alan Duncan led the meeting at DFID’s Whitehall offices yesterday, which DFID described as the first of its kind.

The Guardian reported that one idea raised at the meeting was a quality assurance scheme similar to the Kitemark, which would highlight products made with the best ethical standards.

Greening described the Rana Plaza factory collapse earlier this year as a “wake-up call” to improve safety standards for employees in developing countries. “Two months on, the UK Government is working with the Government of Bangladesh to offer technical support and advice on standards,” she said.

“But I want British business to be a force for good in the developing world too, so that together we can help end aid dependency through jobs. That is why DFID Ministers have now held the first roundtable discussion with British retailers at DFID, which saw constructive discussion about working more effectively together from now on to drive up standards.”

Since the collapse of the factory in April, retailers including H&M and Zara have signed up to a legally binding agreement to help invest in fire safety and building improvements in the factories they use in Bangladesh.