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Supply Chain

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

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.

Unilever, Solidaridad Partner to Help 1 Million Smallholder Farmers

Unilever and Solidaridad have announced a new partnership to improve the lives of one million people in Unilever’s extended supply chains.As part of this new partnership agreement, both parties will raise a mix of public and private grants, credit and investments to finance the smallholder farmer initiatives. They also will share the cost of three full time employees to execute the joint program.This builds on Unilever’s and Solidaridad’s history of creating sustainable supply chains that already engage more than 150,000 smallholder farmers and workers in India, Mexico and Colombia.

Report: Reducing Water in Cotton Industry Makes Good Business Sense

Major brands that drive demand for cotton have an economic interest in reducing the industry's water use because it improves farms’ income and yields, according to a new report by social enterprise CottonConnect.

Nespresso Investing $550 Million to Achieve Carbon Neutrality, Responsible Supply Chain

Nespresso has announced it will invest nearly $550 million USD over the next six years to implement a new sustainability strategy aimed at achieving carbon neutrality, as well as 100 percent responsibly sourced coffee and managed aluminium. Dubbed “The Positive Cup”, Nespresso says the strategy is based on Nestlé’s approach to Creating Shared Value (CSV) and builds upon the steps it already has taken over the last five years to improve farmer welfare and drive environmental sustainability in coffee sourcing and consumption. Part of the investment will be used to establish a new Sustainable Development Fund, which the company says will play a key role in channelling resources into specific sustainability projects.

Nestlé Announces Landmark Commitment to Welfare of Farm Animals

Today, Nestlé announced a pledge to improve the welfare of the farm animals in its supply chain, following the signature of a partnership agreement with NGO World Animal Protection.The agreement means that the hundreds of thousands of farms that supply Nestlé with their dairy, meat, poultry and eggs will have to comply with tighter animal welfare standards. Nestlé, with its global purchasing footprint, also becomes the first major food company to form an international partnership with an animal welfare NGO.