Our focus areas present particular supply chain issues where close collaboration among BSCI participants, producers, and international, national as well as local stakeholders, can boost the implementation of lasting labour improvements.
The agricultural supply chain poses particular labour issues which demand special ways of working to drive improvements in labour conditions. One example is the issue of seasonal work, which is common in the agriculture sector and can lead to non-compliances in areas such as working time.
As the BSCI Code of Conduct reflects through the "Rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining" principle, social dialogue enables improvements in conditions for workers. On 15 January 2015, BSCI brought together representatives of Oxfam, ILO and trade union federations among other key stakeholders for a Round Table meeting in Agadir, to discuss ways to build social dialogue between management and workers.
The case of slavery in the Thai fisheries and food processing industry caused shockwaves when it was uncovered. Following on from serious labour violations identified in a 2013 NGO report into the Thai tuna and pineapple processing industries, it led to significant collaboration of stakeholders to tackle the underlying root causes.
BSCI collaborates with the Tamil Nadu Multi-Stakeholder (TNMS) project, launched by the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), to bring long-term improvements in the working conditions of young women workers employed under the Sumangali scheme. Sumangali is a worker employment practice mainly found in the textile and garment industries in Tamil Nadu, a major textile production hub in the South of India. Despite being recognised as a practice that supports women as a way out of rural poverty, Sumangali has also been reported by several local and international NGOs as frequently exploitative.
Fires pose particular threats to factories in Bangladesh’s garment industry, particularly in light of a tragic outbreak at Tazreen in 2012. This underlines the critical need for training and education at factory level on fire prevention and safety procedures in this country. BSCI supports its participants to provide dedicated fire safety training to factory managers through a partnership with Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), an international certification and training organisation.