Asda has teamed up with union Unite to launch an initiative to end discrimination and unfair treatment across the supermarket’s 29 meat and poultry suppliers.

The two companies have met with all of the suppliers in a bid to move to a new business model of supply chain management to ensure its 6,000 workers are treated fairly and equally.

Unite hit out at what it claims is the way supermarkets treat staff. It said it leads to a two-tier market with agency workers on poorer conditions of employment and permanent staff on better conditions.

A key objective of the deal is to maximise direct employment, ending semi-permanent status of agency workers aside from seasonal fluctuations.

Unite’s deputy general secretary, Jack Dromey said:”We warmly welcome ASDA’s pioneering initiative which sends a clear message that one of Britain’s biggest supermarkets is determined to put ethical principles into practice.”