IAF took an active part in the program of the OECD’s Forum on responsible supply chains in footwear and clothing that took place in Paris February 12th 13th. Together with the ITMF (International Textile Manufacturers Federation) it presented its plan to help reduce audit and standard fatigue. IAF and ITMF will work together with the ITC (International Trade Centre) to monitor and communicate globally the extent to which standard holders (including brands, retailers and third party standard holders) are working to reduce this problem. We are developing criteria to use in this measurement. These criteria will include support of a number of global initiatives that help reduce audit and standard fatigue, such as SLCP, APSCA and the OECD itself. This way IAF and ITMF are striving to keep the pressure on our industry to make faster progress in tackling a pervasive problem hurting our industry.
This project was also discussed during a Manufacturers Meeting. With support of the OECD, during this meeting we discussed numerous issues of particular importance to manufacturers. Buying behavior was also discussed and with support of the OECD IAF and ITMF will work together witht their members to improve buyer-supplier relations. The reason the IAF has been so involved with the OECD, helping even to draft the its due diligence guidance, is that the due diligence approach requires more balanced buyer-supplier relations. It provides a guideline for balanced and reasonable requirements for all companies along the supply chain, big and small, buyer and supplier to ensure fair working conditions.
The due diligence guidance was also discussed in a crowded plenary session with IAF Board Member and BGMEA President Rubana Huq and H&M Group’s Sustainability chief Anna Gedda as well a Sandra Cossart, leading French NGO Sherpa and EU’s DG Justice’s Head of Unit, Maija Laurila. It became apparent that there is a large chance that the EU will develop a mandatory due diligence law.