Supply Chain

How leading companies, NGOs and solution providers are working to address the myriad issues that can arise in any supply chain.

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Marks & Spencer Uses Mobile Tech to Poll Over 60,000 Workers in Five Countries

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has scaled up its use of Labor Link mobile technology in the supply chain to poll 64,230 workers across 46 manufacturing locations in 5 countries (China, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the UK) — exceeding its target of 22,500 workers in 30 factories by more than double.

Report: Sub-Saharan Africa Farm Yields 70-90% Below Potential

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s largest gap in farm yields — 70 to 90 percent below their potential — according to a new research tool unveiled Monday.The outcome of a 6-year international collaborative research effort led by the Daugherty Water for Food Institute at the University of Nebraska and Wageningen University in the Netherlands, the Global Yield Gap and Water Productivity Atlas is the first transparent, interactive and map-based web platform to estimate exploitable gaps in yield and water productivity for major food crops worldwide.

H&M CEO Calls for Annual Wage Reviews in Bangladesh

H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson recently called for the need for annual wage revisions in Bangladesh in line with local price inflation.The comments came during an October 14 meeting with the country's Minister of Commerce, Tofail Ahmed."We see that costs in society are negating many of the positive effects of increased wages. This is due to the absence of efficient systems of control leaving both workers and business owners in a difficult situation," Persson said.For several years, the retailer has worked towards establishing a fair living wage in Bangladesh — a key supplier country. H&M sources products from around 300 factories in the country, employing over 600,000 workers.

EcoPlanet Bamboo Working with Canopy to Offer Sustainable Alternative to Forest-Fiber Textiles

Canadian forest conservation nonprofit Canopy announced Wednesday that EcoPlanet Bamboo, the largest global developer of certified bamboo plantations on degraded lands, has committed to a sourcing policy designed to offer a more sustainable option for clothing brands seeking alternatives to ancient and endangered forest fibers.

Infographic: 10 Years of Supply Chain CSR

Click for full infographic.From the cockle-picking disaster in the UK in 2004 to the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013 to the recent investigation into the global Thai prawn industry in 2014, numerous high-profile events have continued to put the spotlight on global supply chains in the last 10 years.

World's Largest Retailers Take Stand Against Forced Labor in Uzbek Cotton Harvesting

With the annual International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair scheduled for October 14th and 15th in Tashkent, retailers and apparel brands are taking action to prevent Uzbek cotton from entering their supply chains. Markets for Uzbek cotton sourced with forced labor continue to diminish as consumers become more aware of the egregious human rights violations that occur during the Uzbek cotton harvest.

New Tools Help Companies Better Manage Supply Chains

Outdoor Industry Association Sustainability Working Group (OIA SWG) has announced the launch of two new supply chain tools to help companies proactively manage their supply chain and sourcing practices.Rapid Design Module for EquipmentModeled after the existing Higg Index Rapid Design Module Prototype for Footwear and Apparel, the RDM for Equipment ensures the inclusion of product-level environmental indicators specific to hardgoods and accessories. The RDM tool provides guidance to product designers around the potential environmental impacts of decisions during the product creation process.

MSC to Enact More Rigorous Standard for Sustainable Fisheries

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has launched an updated version of its sustainable fishing standards, to come into effect on April 1, 2015.Developed over the past two years, Version 2.0 of the MSC’s Fisheries Certification Requirements incorporates the latest knowledge and understanding of the science and management behind sustainable fisheries and aquatic environments. The year-long consulting stage of the project involved input from experts and stakeholders worldwide, including fishing industry scientists, NGOs and MSC’s partners.

Fair Trade USA Kicks Off Fair Trade Month with Expanded Product Categories

Alongside Fair Trade Month, Fair Trade USA has announced the launch of several new Fair Trade Certified™ products across new categories, including home goods, apparel and coconut.In 2014, the third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in North America partnered with 109 new companies (for a total of 915), and helped launch 455 new Fair Trade Certified products into the North American market. The growth and increased availability of Fair Trade products empowers shoppers to choose items that make a positive difference — from ensuring that factory workers have safe working conditions, to helping farmers and workers improve their communities and environment.

Leading Up to Fair Trade Month, Keurig Green Mountain Ramping Up Efforts to Develop Resilient Supply Chains

With Fair Trade Month beginning tomorrow, Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (KGM), formerly Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, has revealed its strategy for building a more resilient supply chain. By continuing its support of fair trade, the company is aiming to build lasting relationships with its suppliers, and help communities become more robust in tackling climate-driven issues that could impact their supplies over the coming decades.

Kellogg’s to Improve Productivity of 15,000 Smallholder Farmers Worldwide

Kellogg’s has announced a new commitment to enable improved productivity of 15,000 smallholder farmers in its agricultural supply chain, with a focus on rice, as well as support the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The company made the announcement this week at the UN Climate Summit held in New York.Rice is a staple food for more than half the world's population, and is grown by a number of smallholder farmers in several parts of the world. Rice contributes to climate change because of the emissions created in current growing practices, which also impacts crop yields due to rising temperatures and sea levels.

Hershey Updates Palm Oil Policy to Address Stakeholder Concerns

The Hershey Company has announced a new palm oil sourcing policy that updates and strengthens its commitment to source 100 percent traceable and responsible palm oil, a commitment the company announced in December 2013.The comprehensive sourcing policy details the requirements to which all suppliers in the company’s palm oil supply chain will be held accountable. In addition to provisions that protect against deforestation, preserve native species’ habitats and protect the environment, the new sourcing policy also provides details on labor and human rights protections and the inclusion of smallholder palm farmers in the supply chain.

Working Towards Zero Deforestation: Lessons from Acre, Brazil

This post is our second in a series on how companies can reduce deforestation from their supply chains. Read the first post here.What do companies, governments, civil society organizations and indigenous peoples have in common? Despite their differences, they share a common interest in reducing deforestation, which accounts for 12 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

Cargill, Doughnut Companies Promise Sustainable Palm Oil, But NGOs Say Devil Is in the Details

This week, three more major food companies announced new policies around the sourcing of palm oil.

UL Introduces Platform to Help Companies Meet Conflict Minerals Mandates

UL’s Information & Insights (I&I) division has introduced a new platform that can help companies identify conflict minerals sources and put the mandated comprehensive, audit-traceable reporting procedures in place quickly and cost-effectively.

MSC-Labeled Seafood Products Increase by 118% in 5 Years

Increasing consumer demand and a greater commitment to sustainability by the fishing industry and retailers has led the number of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) labeled products to more than double over the past five years, according to two new reports by MSC.In 2013-2014 the retail market value of sustainable seafood carrying the MSC ecolabel reached $4.8 billion, an increase of 118 percent since 2009. More than 23,000 products from MSC certified fisheries were available in over 100 countries, a tenfold increase since 2009.

Hershey Expands Program to Benefit 10,000 Cocoa Farmers in Ivory Coast

Hershey has announced a new three-year program expanding its cocoa farmer training and community initiatives in Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producing country.In partnership with cocoa supplier Cargill, Hershey Learn to Grow Ivory Coast encompasses seven farmer cooperatives and includes investments in educational infrastructure and teacher housing. Some 10,000 cocoa farmers will be trained in agricultural and social practices that are independently audited and certified against the UTZ Certified standard. Ultimately, this is expected to help increase how much farmers receive for their cocoa.

IKEA, Tetra Pak, Kingfisher Partner to Measure Impact of Sustainable Forestry

IKEA, Tetra Pak and Kingfisher are partnering​ to promote the benefits of legal, responsibly sourced, sustainable timber and clarify the role of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification in the delivery of these values. The two-year Value and Impact Analysis (VIA) initiative will support the development of a methodology for assessing the impacts of FSC forest management certification and the piloting of this methodology in selected areas. It is supported by IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative and coordinated by the ISEAL Alliance.

Investors Press Palm Oil Producers to Halt Deforestation

Institutional investors representing over half a trillion dollars in assets under management are calling on four major palm oil producers to adopt an immediate moratorium on deforestation and join the growing effort within the industry to establish traceable, deforestation-free palm oil supply chains.Led by Green Century Capital Management, investors called on Sime Darby Plantation, Kuala Lumpour Kepong Berhad, IOI Corporation Berhad, and Asian Agri to cease their efforts to weaken the existing threshold for no-deforestation.

Perdue Foods Sets New Standard for Antibiotic-Free Chicken

Last week, Perdue Foods announced that it has discontinued the use of antibiotics at all of its chicken hatcheries, another step in setting a standard that defines the responsible use of antibiotics in poultry production. While the company, with farms based in Salisbury, Maryland, says it has not used antibiotics for growth promotion in its poultry since 2007, it does use an animal-only antibiotic to control an intestinal parasite, and to treat and control illness within unhealthy flocks.

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