When a company joins the FLA its leadership makes a commitment to the Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing and/or the Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Production and agrees to uphold the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct in its supply chain.
Affiliated companies are assessed regularly against the principles. A company that adheres to the principles and benchmarks may be accredited by FLA.
The Fair Labor Workplace Code of Conduct and Fair Labor Principles are applied at different parts of the supply chain and work in tandem to protect laborers and improve working conditions.
FLA member companies implement the Fair Labor Principles at their company headquarters, and work with suppliers to implement the Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks in the factory.
Fair Labor Principles focus on the systems, frameworks, policies, and procedures a company must have in place to ensure that workers’ rights are respected in its global supply chain. The Principles look at how a brand integrates workers’ rights into its decision-making process, how it will monitor factories, and how it will remediate non-compliance. The Fair Labor Workplace Code of Conduct is focused on the manufacturing facilities themselves; it sets out the standards that the factory must have in place to protect workers’ rights.
FLA manufacturing standards
Fair Labor Code
Principles of Responsible Sourcing and Production
When a company joins FLA, it commits to achieving accreditation of its social compliance program within five years of being approved as an FLA member. Companies are also required to actively participate in any FLA Investigations accepted through the third-party complaint channel.
FLA’s accreditation evaluation sets a company on a concrete path to improving labor conditions in its Tier One and owned manufacturers. Each milestone represents key building blocks companies needs for an effective social compliance program that improves working conditions and worker well-being.
Steps toward accreditation for manufacturing companies and suppliers
Milestone 1: Governance and Internal Alignment
After onboarding and in consultation with international civil society organizations, the company has developed headquarters and country-level management systems to oversee the implementation of labor standards for commodities in scope; the company has also developed a time-bound plan for achieving full supply chain traceability and publicly disclosed their sourcing profile for the in-scope commodities.
Milestone 2: Implementation and Monitoring
The company continues to implement the FLA’s Principles at the country level with support from the headquarters. The company has expanded the traceability of its supply chain for the commodity and countries in scope. With training from FLA and in consultation with local civil society partners, the company has developed farm-level monitoring tools, sampling, and monitoring methodology; and they have initiated assessments at sample farms. The company has also established functioning grievance mechanisms and additional safety nets for the farmworkers.
Milestone 3: Review and Improvement
The company continues to implement the FLA’s Principles at the country level with support from the headquarters. The company has expanded the traceability of its supply chain for the commodity and high-risk countries in scope. With training from FLA and in consultation with local civil society partners, the company is implementing corrective action plans and country-level systems based on the gender-disaggregated data collected via monitoring mechanisms developed in Milestone 2.
Milestone 4: Full Implementation and Integration
FLA conducts a company headquarters assessment and interviews with civil society organizations, unions and other external stakeholders to confirm the company’s daily business processes and decisions uphold FLA standards. FLA independent factory assessments, as well as remediation evaluations, continue; and the company makes a public commitment to uphold fair compensation in its factories.
After fulfilling all requirements, the company is reviewed by the Board of Directors for Fair Labor Accreditation, indicating comprehensive social compliance and demonstrated performance in protecting workers’ rights. If approved by FLA’s Board of Directors, the company is recognized as a Fair Labor Accredited Company on FLA’s website.
Milestone 5: Maintenance
Following Fair Labor Accreditation, the company receives ongoing due diligence training and feedback from FLA, including factory assessments and regular evaluation of headquarters programs. Companies are expected to maintain and revise social compliance programs as FLA standards are updated.