Michael Smith, analyst with Ecovadis, talks with Innovation Forum’s Ian Welsh about how companies are now beginning to look for modern slavery and labour risks beyond their tier 1 suppliers. They discuss what supply chain mapping actually means in practice, and the systems that companies are developing to uncover where their risks are and how to target resources effectively.

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Georgina Erangey, senior consultant at Sancroft, talks with Ian Welsh, Innovation Forum, about the challenges for companies engaging with the complexities of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act’s requirements. She argues that a whole company approach to disclosure is necessary, and this requires new and innovative solutions. A mindset change is required for companies to address forced labour as a supply chain issue. Companies have to challenge themselves to think not just about where products have come from, but the labour involved as well. The legislation landscape is evolving as companies accept that it simply doesn’t make business sense to profit from exploitation.

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Erin Lyon, director, Elevate, discusses with Innovation Forum's Ian Welsh why understanding a supply chain is the first step in being able to identify migration risks.

Lyon explains where companies can find information that helps them find out where the migration hot spots might be in their supply chains. While supply chains from one business to another are typically very different, industry groups can be helpful in identifying common risks. Companies have to ask where their future labour force is going to come from – only then will risk become more apparent.

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How have modern slavery reporting requirements affected actual corporate behaviour and the broader corporate responsibility agenda?

The changing legislative landscape has meant that companies are under pressure to be transparent on how they address modern slavery.

With the UK’s modern slavery act, similar legislation in California and now at a federal level in the US, plus developments in France, Australia and elsewhere, there is increasing regulation of businesses' disclosure and transparency on their approaches to identify, mitigate and eradicate modern slavery (and broader human rights impacts) within their operations and supply chains.

But, as businesses are tackling their human rights impacts, how is mandatory reporting in turn changing broader corporate behaviour and the role of business in society?

This webinar discussion is led by:

Vicky Dodman, programme manager, Corporate Human Rights Benchmark

Didier Bergeret, director, social sustainability and GSCP, Consumer Goods Forum

Georgina Erangey, senior consultant, Sancroft

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum

Sponsored by Sancroft

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Phil Bloomer, chief executive of the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, talks with Innovation Forum's Ian Welsh about the first two years of the UK's Modern Slavery Act, and how the best companies are using their now-required modern slavery reporting to drive anticipatory action. On the other hand, Bloomer points out, the first 1,700+ statements demonstrate that many companies simply had not been thinking about modern slavery until they were obliged to. The next steps should include an international approach to regulation that brings the best from new rules around the world and drives progress forward. 

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Dr Christopher Stewart, Olam’s global head, corporate responsibility and sustainability, discusses with Innovation Forum's Ian Welsh the company’s global operations, and particular in Gabon, and the challenges in developing sustainable agriculture plantations in forested areas that allow for local economic development at the least environmental impact. He outlines how the company has responded to activist criticisms, why Olam has agreed to a moratorium on new plantations in Gabon and the need for better boundary conditions around acceptable development. Smallholder farmers are a vitally important part of Olam’s future ability to trade in the commodities it supplies, and Stewart explains what Olam is doing to help smallholders grow their businesses sustainably.

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Winnifred Mailu, inclusive markets adviser – Africa, Christian Aid, speaks with Innovation Forum's Ian Welsh about why accessing markets is essential for smallholder farmers and how companies can help them to develop the necessary skills. Companies needs smallholder entrepreneurs to ensure supply security, and farming communities are increasingly seeing that there are real incentives for them to develop sustainably for long-term benefit.

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Alan Johnson, senior operations officer at the International Finance Corporation, talks with Innovation Forum’s Toby Webb about capacity building challenges for smallholder farmers. These challenges are a major constraint to growth of the agriculture sector, and impact security of supply and traceability for big brands. Johnson explains why IFC believes that boosting the “professionalism” of smallholders, such as through improving access to finance and growing business management capability, is crucial for real impact at scale.

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In this webinar, the findings from two new reports from Forest Trends’ Supply Change initiative and the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 are discussed and debated.

While there is growing evidence that companies are setting goals to manage deforestation within their commodity supply chains, analysis shows that much remains to be done to increase the momentum toward the necessary transformational action.

These two new reports show how leading companies are working towards deforestation-free commodity supply chains. Hear from expert speakers from Forest Trends’ Supply Change initiative, TFA 2020, Unilever, Golden Agri-Resources and CDP.

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The legislative landscape around forced labour and modern slavery is changing and companies that are not engaging and tackling these issues in their supply chains may find themselves barred from some markets, particularly the US.

The 2016 US Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act introduced restrictions on importation into the US of goods produced with forced labour, closing a loophole in the 1930 Tariff Act that allowed for importation of goods that may have had forced labour in the supply chain if US domestic production did not meet demand.

This change last year came on the back of earlier legislation and rule changes in the US including the Port State Measures Agreement and the Californian Transparency in Supply Chains Act.

Elsewhere, of course, the evolving picture is similar, with the UK’s Modern Slavery Act having been in force since late 2015. France is another country with tightening rules coming into play.

So, clearly, companies need to act and be seen to act. But what are the implications if they don’t? What are the risks they run?

Leading the debate in this Innovation Forum webinar are:

  • Kenneth Kennedy, senior policy advisor, forced labour programs, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Department of Homeland Security
  • Corey Norton, export and import attorney, Trade Pacific Law
  • Darian McBain, global director of sustainable development, Thai Union

Introduced and moderated by Ian Welsh, publishing director, Innovation Forum

 

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