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Adidas Modern Slavery Outreach Programme: Risk assessment, progress against goals, and way forward

In early 2016 Adidas completed a risk-based assessment of its extended supply chain, that is, its Tier 2 processing suppliers and Tier 3 raw material sources that fall outside the mainstream coverage of its labour monitoring programme. The review was triggered by a simple question: “If we are to manage the risk of modern slavery in our wider supply chain, where should we prioritise our efforts?” A summary of the risk is available here.

Adidas welcomed the opportunity to connect with potential partner organisations and not-for-profit groups, who are addressing modern slavery risks including forced labour, child labour or migrant labour in hot spot countries, especially South America in relation to the leather industry, or with respect to the natural rubber industry in Thailand and Indonesia. For further information please see here.

Based on the risk assessment, Adidas has set three priorities for its Modern Slavery Outreach Programme. In February 2018, Adidas provided an update on progress made by the end of 2017 in the three strategy areas, as well as next steps for 2018-2020:

STRATEGY 1 - Modern Slavery Training: Provision of modern slavery capacity building workshops for all key tier 2 suppliers from high risk countries such as Taiwan, China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Next steps: Follow-up with suppliers on clear and actionable plans to address the specific noncompliance issues identified during training.

STRATEGY 2 - Raw Material Sourcing: Investigation into risks of leather sourcing, including through stakeholder engagement, which "has shown that there is strict regulatory enforcement, including social assessments at large slaughterhouses, and together with our own in-depth assessments of tier 2 supplier relationships we have revisited and lowered our risk rating for Brazil."

Nest steps: Continue to seek partnership opportunities in South America, as well as focus on the natural rubber supply chain in Vietnam.

STRATEGY 3 – Cotton Sourcing: Development of collaborative models to address risks associated with cotton production including forging a partnership with Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)’s local implementing partner and the Fair Labour Association (FLA).

Nest steps: Review the social and labour conditions in high volume cotton production countries such as India, China and Pakistan, in collaboration with BCI and the Yarn Ethically and Sustainably Sourced (YESS) initiative. 

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