amfori Responds to ‘Exploitation made in Europe’ Report

12-05-2020

On 24 April 2020, ‘Brot für die Welt/Bread for the World’ and ‘Clean Clothes Campaign’ (CCC) published the report ‘Exploitation made in Europe’. The report focuses on production conditions in the supply chains of German textile brands and retailers.

amfori appreciates receiving information referring to the situation in global supply chains. This helps us to review the focus, direction and emphasis of our activities. We would also like to emphasise that amfori activities are not limited to auditing but include a wider range of activities such as capacity building and the facilitation of joint remediation. Investigative efforts complement our members’ monitoring efforts and thus support their responsibility for due diligence.

For this reason, we have shared the report with our concerned members and are liaising with them on how to engage their respective business partners in a coordinated manner to better understand the situation, take collective action and jointly address the violations of the amfori BSCI Code of Conduct where applicable. amfori supports topics highlighted in the report such as the call for a living wage, responsible purchasing practices and Human Rights Due Diligence. Position papers on all these items have been published recently. The report reminds us that countries in Eastern Europe must not be forgotten in our joint efforts for more sustainability.

We would like to emphasise the importance of critical but fair dialogue-based campaigning. Offering an opportunity for discussion before the publication of a report helps to depict the situation in supply chains more accurately and to take corrective measures earlier. To this end, and in response to the report, amfori has sent a letter to the CCC to reiterate these messages.

The timing to publish the report unfortunately also lacks sensitivity to the current situation affecting companies all around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic surely underlines that partnerships between supply chain actors are essential to address and overcome challenges. This is the key message amfori underlines with its position paper on responsible purchasing practices and by supporting the joint call ‘Responding responsibly to the COVID-19 crisis’.

One supply chain actor depends on the other and companies disappearing would be a disaster for their suppliers and their workers as well. The main objective is now to strengthen cooperation and dialogue with suppliers and build solid and resilient supply chains based on partnership and joint efforts.

amfori remains open to engage directly with the Clean Clothes Campaign and Bread for the World on this matter.

Read the letter to CCC

Further reading

Responsible Purchasing Practices During COVID-19

Living Wage Journey: Taking Stock and Setting the Way Forward

Human Rights Due Diligence Position Paper

Joint statement: Responding responsibly to the COVID-19 crisis