NFS News Archive Free2Work
This week, over 20 specialists in the anti-human trafficking movement gathered at the United Nations to share trends and good practices to address the global issue of human trafficking. President and Co-Founder of Not For Sale, David Batstone, was present among these specialists as Not For Sale has recently released Apparel Industry Trends, the most comprehensive look at any sector’s corporate responsibility to date.
Not For Sale released today a revealing report on slavery in the apparel industry, featuring supply chain ratings for more than 300 brands. Modern-day slavery, which currently affects more than 30 million people, is used throughout the production of many clothing products sold on U.S. shelves. The report, “Apparel Industry Trends: From Farm to Factory,” uses publicly available information and data self-reported by companies to rate how brands are addressing child and forced labor in their supply chains.
Earlier this week, President Obama announced several initiatives involving businesses’ supply chains that will strengthen his zero-tolerance policy of human trafficking in the United States. Not For Sale has been a key player in presenting corporations with new supply chain standards and working them through the transformative process.
Do you believe that companies should be socially responsible? Would you be willing to pay somewhat more for a product produced by a company committed to offering decent working conditions? Would you be willing to forsake your favorite brand in favor of a brand that actively works to address the issues of forced labor and child labor? Many people would probably instantly and spontaneously answer yes to these questions. However, if you are among those answering yes, consider how often you in practice haven chosen to buy a more expensive product because it is a product produced by a company committed to social responsibility. How often have you in reality chosen to buy a less familiar brand in order to support a company actively fighting the crimes of involuntary labor and under aged labor?
“Today more than ever, society has come to recognize that the anthropogenic destruction of our planet’s sustainable biodiversity negatively impacts humankind, placing human life at risk. The cause-and effect relationship that exists between environmental collapse and the subsequent risk to our existence can no longer be ignored.” – Romina Picollotti, Linking Human Rights and the Environment
New legislation requires all companies in California to report on their efforts to eliminate slavery in their supply chains. The California Transparency in Supply Chains Act (SB 657) requires that all companies, retailers, and manufacturers with annual sales of $100 million or more must address and publicly disclose the extent to which their verification, auditing, certification, internal accountability, and training activities impact human trafficking.
In this week’s Bloomberg Businessweek, journalist Ben Skinner exposed unjust labor practices within seafood production. Skinner flags a well-known New Zealand-based seafood company, United Fisheries, which was purchasing and processing fish from vessels that paid their crew members an average of one dollar an hour. In some instances, workers were denied payment and were even threatened with fines if they tried to escape the ship.
Not For Sale launched the new Free2Work.org website today, the powerful consumer information platform that increases transparency in supply chains worldwide.
Not For Sale welcomes the news that the Hershey company has pledged $10 million to educate West African cocoa farmers on improving their trade and combating child labor. The leading US chocolate producer has announced it will release a new version of Hershey’s Bliss brand, which will be 100% made from Rain Forest Alliance-certified farms mostly in Ivory Coast and Ghana. Chocolate is one of the most well-known industries using forced and child labor, yet up until now Hershey has refuse to use fair trade certified cocoa.