Supply chain/"Fair trade" - an introduction
Below are select introductory materials on business and supply chain/"Fair trade" issues. Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Supply chain/"Fair trade"" section of our site.
- Key international standards
- Key reports & guidance
- Concerns, company responses & non-responses
- Positive steps by companies
- Lawsuits regarding supply chain/"Fair trade" issues
Key international standards
SA8000 Standard, Social Accountability International, 2008
Fairtrade standards, Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International
Key reports & guidance
Guide to responsible sourcing - Integrating social and environmental considerations into the supply chain [PDF], Intl. Chamber of Commerce, 2008
Complicity in Human Rights Violations: A Responsible Business Approach to Suppliers [PDF], Margaret Jungk, Human Rights & Business Project, Danish Institute for Human Rights, 2006
Full Package Approach to Labour Codes of Conduct, Clean Clothes Campaign, Apr 2008
Resource Center, Fair Labor Association
“Is Fair Trade a good fit for the garment industry?" [PDF], Maquila Solidarity Network, Sep 2006
Benchmarking Corporate Policies on Labor and Human Rights in Global Supply Chains [PDF], Aaron Bernstein, Labor & Worklife Program, Harvard Law School; Christopher Greenwald, ASSET4, Nov 2009
Concerns, company responses & non-responses
The Resource Centre invites companies to respond to allegations of misconduct. Below are examples of allegations and company responses regarding supply chain/"Fair trade" issues. We also indicate when a company has not responded
Global: "Subsidizing Sweatshops" report says companies supplying US state uniforms source from firms "engaged in serious human rights & labor violations", Jul 2008. Responses from Bob Barker Company, Cintas Corp., Eagle Industries, Lion Apparel, Rocky Brands, Williamson-Dickie. No responses received from Fechheimer Brothers, Propper International.
Asia: Clean Clothes Campaign report "Cashing in" says discount model leads to labour abuses at factories in Asia supplying Aldi, Carrefour, Lidl, Tesco, Wal-Mart, Mar 2009. Responses from Aldi, Carrefour, Lidl, Tesco, Wal-Mart.
Bangladesh: Factory of supplier Spectrum Sweater in Dhaka, Bangladesh, collapses, killing 64 workers – Global textiles union (ITGLWF) and Clean Clothes Campaign raise concerns about working conditions prior to collapse, May 2005. Response from Carrefour, Cotton Group, Inditex (Zara), Scapino, Steilmann.
Bangladesh, Costa Rica, India: ActionAid says women working for suppliers to UK supermarkets locked into dangerous conditions, "appallingly" low pay, Apr 2007. Response from Sainsbury’s. No response from ASDA (part of Wal-Mart).
China: "High Tech Misery in China": Natl. Labor Committee (US) alleges labour abuses at Mae Tay keyboard factory supplying Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Feb 2009. Responses from Dell, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Mae Tay, Microsoft.
Turkey: Clean Clothes Campaign raises concerns of anti-union activity, other labour abuses at Menderes Textil factory, Jun 2009. Responses from Carrefour, Ibena, Ikea, Mothercare, Otto, Target, Wal-Mart. No response from Horizonte, Kohl’s.
Positive steps by companies
Vietnam: IFC, ILO, intl. buyers launch Better Work Vietnam programme to improve working conditions & competitiveness in apparel industry - refers to Gap as one of the programme's supporters, Oct 2008.
Lawsuits regarding supply chain/"Fair trade" issues
Related stories and components
Several dozen protesters carried placards in front of the Gap and Banana Republic ...urging ethical U.S. shoppers to boycott garments produced in Sri Lanka, while another group of Tamil activists assembled in front of Victoria's Secret Stores...to...
- Related stories: Protests against Gap, Victoria's Secret over sourcing from Sri Lanka, given govt. abuses against Tamils
- Related in-depth areas: Apparel & textile Sri Lanka Supply chain/"Fair trade" - an introduction
- Related companies: Banana Republic (part of Gap) Gap Limited Brands Old Navy (part of Gap) Victoria's Secret (part of Limited Brands)
Author: Global Witness
Global Witness and Sherpa, along with Greenpeace France, Amis de la Terre, and a prominent Liberian activist, have lodged a complaint before the Public Prosecutor at the Court of Nantes against Dalhoff, Larsen and Horneman (DLH)…alleg[ing] that during...
- Related stories: DLH lawsuit (re Liberian civil war) France: NGOs lodge legal complaint against timber company DLH for allegedly funding conflict in Liberia
- Related in-depth areas: Latest Legal News Liberia NGO Supply chain Supply chain/"Fair trade" - an introduction
- Related companies: DLH (Dalhoff Larsen & Horneman)
Author: Aaron Bernstein, Pensions & Capital Stewardship Project, Labor & Worklife Program, Harvard Law School [USA]; Christopher Greenwald, ASSET4 [Switzerland]
This paper offers an initial building block required for the development of social factor investment analysis. Using ASSET4 data on 2,508 global corporations, we benchmark public LHR policies relating to global supply chains... The goal is to build...
- Related stories: Study of all sectors, regions finds supply chain labour & human rights policies are "becoming the norm" for large companies
- Related in-depth areas: Supply chain/"Fair trade" - an introduction
- Related companies: Associated British Foods Nike Primark (part of Associated British Foods) Tesco Walmart Williams Sonoma
Author: Kaya Burgess, Times [UK]
...[F]or a decade a partnership has been flourishing between ... [UNICEF and Ikea] in an attempt to reduce child labour in the developing world — a corporate-charitable tag team formed amid concerns in the mid-1990s that child labour was being used by...
[PDF] Dole… Behind the Smoke-screen… What is new since our report on the company’s plantations in Latin America in 2006 ?
Author: Jean-Paul Arpi & Maude Feral - Peuples Solidaires / Action Aid; Helge Fischer - Banafair
In 2006, a group of civil society organisations published a report about Dole and their suppliers in Latin America...[which] uncovered violations of trade union freedom and workers’ rights in the plantations that produce Dole bananas... Three years on...
- Related stories: Labour coalition says workers' rights abuses persist on Dole plantations in Latin America
- Related in-depth areas: Labour - an introduction Supply chain/"Fair trade" - an introduction
- Related companies: Dole
Author: Jane Black, Washington Post
In what Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis called a "huge victory" for farm workers, one of the country's largest food service companies announced Friday that it will buy winter tomatoes only from growers that pay a fair wage and offer good working...
Author: Bosco Hitimana, East African Business Week
Starbucks, a US coffee company, last week opened its first farmer support centre in Africa…based in Rwanda…The centre will particularly work with East African coffee communities to help them continue to improve their coffee quality and to increase the...
Author: National Labor Committee [USA]
Metro Group...has been forced to do the right thing. Metro Group: Will immediately return all of its orders to the R.L. Denim factory in Bangladesh; Admits to the miserable failure of its past efforts to monitor/protect even the most basic worker...
- Related stories: Bangladesh: Metro Group announces plan to resume orders with RL Denim following investigation
- Related in-depth areas: Supply chain/"Fair trade" - an introduction
- Related companies: Metro Group RL Denim
Author: Nick Mathiason, Observer [UK]
In Uzbekistan, gangs forcibly remove hundreds of thousands of children from schools, order them to pick cotton in the searing heat and live in squalid conditions on pitiful wages…Uzbeki state-controlled cotton is sold to the world's biggest retailers,...
Author: Joe Bavier, Reuters
Belgium-based minerals merchant Traxys will stop purchasing tin ore from violence-ravaged eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in response to pressure from the United Nations, a company official said on Monday. The minerals trade has long been a key...