Impact

 

The World Bank reports that among the 2.1 billion people worldwide estimated to be living in poverty, "a vast majority ... live in rural areas ... mostly employed in the agriculture sector."   To catalyze progress on fair compensation for farmers and workers involved in agricultural supply chains, FLA assessors began collecting information from workers in 2015 on wages earned at the farm-level in seven countries where the FLA conducts agricultural monitoring.

On, January 13, 2017, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) sent a letter  to the prime minister of Bangladesh, expressing concern over government and employer reaction to recent garment worker protests in the Ashulia area of Dhaka, including the arrest or firing of protesting workers and the detention of union leaders and workers’ rights advocates. 

In early 2015, the FLA took a major step toward realizing long-standing organizational and affiliate commitments to ensure that workers in global supply chains earn fair compensation for their labor, as required by the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct. At its February 2015 meeting, the FLA Board of Directors unanimously approved implementation of the organization’s new Fair Compensation Work Plan, which began with the introduction of a comprehensive wage-data collection effort as part of the FLA’s 2015 factory and farm assessment cycle.

The FLA annually conducts independent assessments of a sample of each affiliated company’s supply chains. For Olam, the FLA has been monitoring since 2014 a portion of the cocoa-producing cooperatives and farms in its Ivory Coast supply chain. In 2015, Olam reported it had traced 100 percent of the cooperatives supplying cocoa for Olam in the Ivory Coast, which represents 117 cooperatives and about 53,000 farmers. Cocoa sourced from cooperatives represents 100 percent of the entire supply chain, with no cocoa is sourced through traitants that have not yet been traced.

Since 2013, the FLA annually conducts monitoring visits in Nestlé’s traced cocoa supply chain in Ivory Coast. Independent External Monitoring (IEM) covers a growing portion of the cocoa supply chain served by the Nestlé Cocoa Plan (NCP), which represents 30 percent of its total cocoa supply chain as of mid-2016 as reported by Nestlé.  In 2015, the FLA conducted IEMs in four cooperatives that were never assessed before, and also Independent External Verification (IEV) in two cooperatives that were previously assessed in 2013.

In early 2015, the FLA took a major step toward realizing long-standing organizational and affiliate commitments to ensure that workers in global supply chains earn fair compensation for their labor, as required by the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct. At its February 2015 meeting, the FLA Board of Directors unanimously approved implementation of the organization’s new Fair Compensation Work Plan, which began with the introduction of a comprehensive wage-data collection effort as part of the FLA’s 2015 factory and farm assessment cycle.

In 2014, the FLA experienced a year of restructuring, renewed commitment, and program advancement, overseen by a former country director for the International Labour Organization (ILO), who returned to the ILO after helping return the organization to financial health and stability.   The Annual Public Report for 2014 demonstrates key ways the FLA advanced during this transitional year:

2013 was year of  transition and recalibration for the FLA.  While this report explains the challenges the FLA encountered in maintaining due diligence during 2013, it also reports the FLA's successes that year, such as the adoption of Principle 8 (covering responsible purchasing and production), the continued development of the Sustainable Compliance (SCI) methodology, and the implementation of a new fire-safety training program.   2013 culminated with the hiring of the new president of the FLA, Claudia Coenjaerts, who shares her vision for the future of the FLA as part of this report.

2012 was a year of tremendous growth for the Fair Labor Association, and the impact of its work could be felt at all corners of the world. Companies' efforts to promote and uphold FLA's labor standards in their product supply chains helped to improve conditions for workers everywhere - from farms in Cote d'Ivoire to electronics manufacturing facilities in China.

Excerpt from President's Message: This year the civil society organizations, universities and companies affiliated with FLA made strides in their efforts to improve workers' lives, laying the foundation for the organization’s next chapter of impact and growth. In June, for example, FLA’s Board of Directors approved a number of enhancements to the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct for the first time since its adoption in 1999. Working together over the course of nearly three years, FLA stakeholders developed substantive improvements to the FLA Code.

EA works with a supplier factory in Mexico to protect worker health and safety and remedy issues related to wages and benefits following an FLA assessment.

Acushnet Company works with supplier in Thailand to protect workers' rights to freedom of association following an FLA assessment.

Following an FLA assessment, VF Corporation works with supplier in El Salvador to ensure accurate compensation for overtime work.

adidas and Nike work with a Vietnamese apparel supplier to prevent forced labor, respect freedom of association, and protect the health and safety of the factory's 2,275 workers following an FLA assessment.

adidas and Forty Seven Brand work with supplier in Bangladesh to prevent discrimination against pregnant women following an FLA assessment.