A Matter of Taste – STOP THE TRAFFIK Australian Coalitions Chocolate report

For 10 years STOP THE TRAFFICK Australian Coalition has been campaigning with the chocolate industry to help stop slavery in the production of cocoa in West Africa – particularly Cote d’Ivoire. In 2017 we worked with the 3 largest Certifying Companies (Fair-trade, Rain Forest Alliance and UTZ – the last 2 have just amalgamated) and the 6 largest chocolate companies (Mondelez, Nestle, Mars, Hershey, Ferrero, Lindt) to see what they are doing to help prevent and eradicate slavery in their chain of supply.

There are 3 versions of the report

1. An infographic

2. An Executive Summary

3. The Full Report

It is a rare insight into what is being done, and an assessment on what needs to be done.

all 3 can be viewed and downloaded at: 

www.stopthetraffik.com.au/chocreport/

 

Greenpeace and Thai Union Group Summary of Agreement – July 17

Greenpeace released a very critical report on the Thai Fishing industry and Thai Union – who are the largest canner of tuna in the world and process prawns and other seafood for the Australian market – have come to a very helpful agreement with Greenpeace on ways forward. They recognise:

Greenpeace and Thai Union share an understanding that the problem of labour and human rights violations in global tuna supply chains include, but are not limited to, the following:Forced labour and human rights abuses in the extended seafood supply chain, especially in commercial fleets that stay out at sea for extended periods of time.

  • The lack of fair remuneration and decent working conditions for workers in the fishing sector.
  • The absence of collective bargaining rights and freedom of association, especially for migrant workers in the fishing sector.
  • The lack of contracts in a language that the workers can understand.
  • The method of recruitment for workers on fishing boats through brokers that perpetuate labour and human rights abuse.

What they agree to in the labour section of the paper is:

  • Vessel code of conduct – Thai Union commits to create a vessel code of conduct with an accompanying auditable standard across its global supply chain by January 2018.
  • Audits will be conducted on an ongoing basis by a reputable third party with a proven track record of delivering comprehensive and respected social audit reports. The audit program will be initiated by 2018 in line with Thai Union’s SeaChange program, and continue beyond as part of continuous improvement. The Vessel Code of Conduct will be communicated to all vessel suppliers in 2018, with the notification that they can expect to be audited against this Code at any point.

And other agreements in the areas of:

  • Support for organizing rights and collective bargaining
  • Electronic Catch Data and Traceability (eCDT)
  • Audits and transparency
  • Ethical recruitment

The report can be downloaded or read at:

Advancing Traceability in the Seafood Industry White Paper – Fishwise

Fishwise released their first White Paper in 2012. This is an updated one and gives key insights into the possibilities and challenges to traceability in the industry. As they state:

It is hoped that this document will create connections across businesses, organizations, and governments to spark conversation and action as to how the seafood stakeholders can collaborate to help improve seafood traceability and eliminate human rights abuses and illegal products from supply chains.

It contains a very good diagram on the Seafood Supply Chain:

FishWise (2017) Advancing Traceability in the Seafood Industry: Assessing Challenges and Opportunities.

It can be read or downloaded at:

www.fishwise.org/images/white_papers/Advancing_Traceability_in_the_Seafood_Industry.pdf

Thai Union Sustainability Report 2016

Thai Union realised they had slavery in their chain of supply – mainly, but not exclusively in the fishing boats. They have been working at changing the culture and the supply chain traceability and transparency. This 2016 Sustainability Report tells what they have been aiming to do and how. Key areas in their Safe and Legal Labour section include:

  • Thai Union Business Ethics And Labour Code Of Conduct

    Human Rights And Ethical Labour Practices

    Supplier Approval Process

    Migrant Worker Recruitment Policy

    Opting For Zero-Recruitment Fees Policy

    Continues Its Transition To Digital Payments Worldwide

    The full report can be read or downloaded 

Ethical Fashion Report – Baptist World Aid Australia

Each year Baptist World Aid Australia Advocacy area produced this report. They are very active members and partners to STOP THE TRAFFIK Australian Coalition. As they say about the report:

It… sheds light on what the industry and individual companies are doing to address forced labour, child labour and exploitation. Each report – since the launch of the first in 2013 – has tracked the progress within the industry. The change since 2013 has been significant. In this edition we have assessed 106 companies, awarding each a grade from A to F based on the strength of their labour rights management systems to mitigate the risk of exploitation in their supply chain. This report marks a significant expansion of the work of previous reports adding 50% more companies, updating the research and adopting a new and enhanced rating tool. 78% of the companies assessed directly engaged in the research process – up from 54% in the first report.

You can read the full report at: https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/2017-ethical-fashion-report/

 

What is the Ethical Fashion Guide?

Each year Baptist World Aid Advocacy research and develop the Ethical Fashion Guide. It has become an industry standard. As they say: The Ethical Fashion Guide is a companion to the 2017 Ethical Fashion Report. Use it to help you make everyday, ethical purchasing decisions. Take it with you when you shop and buy your clothes from the companies doing more to protect their workers. Vote with your wallet and encourage more companies to end exploitation in their supply chains. It can be downloaded at: https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/2017-ethical-fashion-guide/

KNOW THE CHAIN Report

  • FORCED LABOR ACTION COMPARED: FINDINGS FROM THREE SECTORS
  • With recommendations for companies across sectors, business and multi-stakeholder associations, and investors

Forced labour is a risk for all importing global companies. Public awareness of forced labour in supply chains has grown, regulations requiring companies to take action have continued to emerge—businesses are being held to higher transparency and legal standards. Companies across all sectors importing goods from high risk countries can no longer afford to ignore this issue.

With a combined market capitalization of more than US $4 trillion, the companies analyzed by KnowTheChain represent some of the largest companies in the world. These companies were evaluated in seven categories and received a score out of 100 possible points.

Key findings across the three sectors include:

  • Average sector scores were below 50/100, indicating significant room for improvement across sectors.
  • Shockingly, there was one company in each sector that received a score of 0/100 indicating a concerning lack of action.
  • Apparel companies tend to be more advanced, while food & beverage companies are lagging behind.
  • This is reflective of the level of media attention and civil society pressure companies in each of the sectors have received.
  • Companies tend to be more advanced in developing supply chain commitments and monitoring the first labour performance of first-tier suppliers.
  • Companies are taking limited steps to address the exploitation of migrant workers by recruitment agencies. However, it is encouraging that a number of companies across sectors have joined the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment (thus committing to the “Employer Pays” Principle) and that some industry associations are starting to take action.
  • Two areas with limited progress are engagement with supply chain workers and providing remedy for workers whose rights are violated. These areas both lack attention from companies as well as from business and multi-stakeholder associations.

 

For the full Report look at : https://knowthechain.org/wp-content/uploads/KTC_CrossSectoralFindings_Final.pdf

Tea Gardens of Assam

In 2014 we helped bring to the world’s attention the situation in the tea gardens in Assam. Here human trafficking thrives in a context where tea gardens workers are trapped in a context of poverty. Tens of thousands have been trafficked. We are working with Tata Global Beverages on changing these conditions and education programs in the tea gardens leading to some gardens having now eradicated trafficking.