What if... a producer doesn’t comply with the rules?
Over the years, we’ve seen a gradual improvement in working conditions at our producers, for instance in China and Southeast Asia. But sadly things don’t always go smoothly. At a minority of producers, working conditions aren’t acceptable on the first inspection. But what happens then? Do we immediately stop the collaboration if the producer doesn’t comply with the rules?
Based on the results of our audits, we decide whether we’ll carry on working with the producer, what improvements need to be made and by when.
Our main aim is always to guide and support producers in improving their working conditions. But sometimes we really do have to halt our collaboration. We have zero tolerance on a number of points. If we find that working conditions are unacceptable (the producer uses child labour, or tries to bribe the auditor, etc.), then we stop the collaboration immediately. If the producer absolutely refuses to work with us to improve working conditions in their factory, we place no more orders.
If the circumstances really aren’t acceptable, but the producer really wants to work on them and we see a lot of goodwill, we’ll draw up a plan for improving working conditions. The producer also signs this plan. Thanks to collaboration with organisations like the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), a multi-enterprise initiative for improving working conditions, we can also provide high quality training about pay policy, safety in the workplace and other subjects. And what’s more, it’s free.
To verify that the producer has made the suggested improvements, we’ll inspect them again after 3, 6, or 12 months. The greater the problems were, the sooner the new inspection will be. Based on the new results, we’ll evaluate what could be improved further. In this way, together we ensure that working conditions at our producers gradually improve.
With this initiative, we contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.