The Fairtrade Foundation welcomes the UK Government’s decision to introduce the new Transparency in Supply Chains requirement for any company with a turnover of £36 million or more. This move means that more than 12,000 companies will fall under the new legislation from October, forcing them to prove what they are doing to stop slavery and trafficking in their supply chains. This in effect will create a groundswell of change in how businesses recognise and respond to issues of slavery and forced labour in supply chains.
Barbara Crowther, Fairtrade Foundation’s director of Policy and Public Affairs, said:
"In the Fairtrade system, every product supply chain is required to comply with standards based on the ILO Conventions on Forced and Worst Forms of Child Labour, regardless of company size. So we would encourage all companies below this threshold to undertake due diligence of their supply chains and voluntary report results to their customers – human rights are universal, and everyone involved in supply chains should be protected from modern forms of slavery.
"Businesses should see this measure not just as another piece of reporting, but a new incentive towards concrete action to tackle the causes of forced labour and slavery, and the need for business models to be built on fair terms of trade, providing decent conditions of work, whether here in the UK or overseas."