2017 Annual Public Report

As then-president and CEO Sharon Waxman notes in her introduction to the 2017 Annual Public Report, “among the success stories of 2016 recounted here, perhaps the most encouraging are those that describe the ways that our affiliates collaborate to achieve common goals — building fair supply chains and solving systemic problems.”

For example, the FLA’s ongoing cooperative agreement with the US Department of Labor (p. 31) demonstrates how diverse collaborators can develop lasting solutions for difficult supply chain issues, in this case working to end child labor in hazelnut supply chains in Turkey.  Similarly, the FLA and its partners are working to find solutions with projects to trace supply chains for raw materials used by the apparel and footwear industries, like cotton and leather (p. 28), drawing on some of the lessons learned through FLA work to improve conditions in agricultural supply chains.

The report also celebrates a number of significant achievements, including the jump in the number of accreditations of Participating Suppliers (p. 9), the increased commitment of Category C licensees choosing to become Participating Companies (p. 6), and more Participating Companies than ever before for their public disclosure of their factory lists (p. 12).  Pages 22 and 23 delve into the impact of the FLA’s third-party complaint mechanism, through which nine investigations, affecting 20,000 workers, were resolved in 2016 in Bangladesh, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Turkey, and the United States.  Also in 2016, the FLA conducted assessments in 191 factories and farms that employed 180,000 workers.  See the aggregate reporting on page 14 for some of the issues FLA assessments uncovered most frequently, including the need to improve evacuation procedures and reduce excessive overtime in a majority of facilities. 

“Global brands and suppliers from 20 countries around the world are now involved with the FLA, and an increasing number have successfully achieved FLA accreditation,” writes Waxman.  “As we build an even more effective FLA, we keep dignity and fairness for workers as our North Star, remaining mindful that each product we buy and sell is made from the labor of women and men around the world, stitching seams, sewing buttons, weaving fabric, spinning yarn, tanning leather, growing and harvesting crops, and pursuing a better life for themselves and their families.”