In a bid to eradicate forced labor in global supply chains, a problem that affects 21 million people worldwide, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) has released a new report, ***Business Actions Against Forced Labor***, highlighting best practices in tackling the issue. The report shares case studies from members such as Coca-Cola, Mars, Marks & Spencer, Unilever, and Walmart, detailing how they are setting up new programs, engaging in cross-sectoral collaboration and effectively implementing auditing schemes.
“The Business Actions Against Forced Labor booklet showcases concrete practices led by CGF members to tackle forced labor in global supply chains. By bringing the industry together through activities and tools like this booklet, the CGF can help inspire corporate, governmental and civil society actors to collectively move towards a world that is free of this endemic social problem. The CGF looks forward to continuing to provide a platform for collective action and cross-sectorial cooperation as we all strive to eradicate forced labor once and for all.”
The booklet is the fifth case study booklet in a series produced by the CGF and its members, along with booklets on refrigeration, food waste, climate change and healthier lives. Twelve member companies contributed to the booklet, which contributes to CGF’s Social Sustainability work: Marks & Spencer, Mars, METRO GROUP, Migros, Nestlé S.A., Tesco, The Coca-Cola Company, The Kellogg Company, The Walt Disney Company, Unilever and Walmart. Brands identified actions such as awareness training, cooperative action, traceability tools and grievance mechanisms are being especially effective in rooting out forced labor across supply chains.
Forced labor is an endemic social problem and requires cross-sectoral collaboration in order to effectively address the problem. The booklet builds on past initiatives undertaken by the CGF to tackle the issue, such as the first-ever industry commitment on forced labor and the development of Priority Industry Principles that organizations can use to eliminate employment practices that may lead to forced labor in supply chains. As part of its 2017 action plan, CGF members will take individual actions to mainstream the Principles with an initial focus on palm oil and seafood in Southeast Asia.
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“Forced labor is a complex and deep-rooted problem that cannot be solved without industry collaboration. Knowledge sharing is vital to implementing long-term solutions,” said Olaf Koch, Chairman of the Management Board METRO. “The Consumer Goods Forum is committed to helping its members understand the challenge being faced and provides a unique, global platform that promotes best practice sharing. For METRO GROUP, compliance with social standards is an essential commitment. METRO GROUP is therefore proud to be part of the Consumer Goods Forum and its collaborative efforts to eradicate forced labor.”