The FTA General Assembly, which took place on June 14 2017, was the perfect occasion to acknowledge progress made on the cooperation agreement with French sustainability initiative Initiative Clause Sociale (ICS). Although no merger between FTA and ICS is foreseen in the near future, close collaboration continues. Both organisations believe that achieving a greater convergence of processes and criteria will stimulate a move beyond social compliance and towards the continuous improvement of working conditions in sourcing countries.
During the final implementation phase, FTA has introduced to the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) system all elements agreed during the negotiation phase, which include:
1) Setting semi-announced social audits by default in the BSCI platform, instead of fully announced.
2) Producers are no longer allowed to request social audits or appoint the accredited auditing company. This can only be done by the RSP holder or by the audit company, provided they have the RSP holder’s final approval.
3) New tools will be integrated in the BSCI system, to allow for pre-qualification assessment (PQA) of business partners, and a small producer assessment tool (SPA) with a simplified methodology and audit protocol for small producers.
4) Taking the first steps towards two levels of disclosure: incidental and voluntary disclosure.
Following discussions, in December 2016, FTA welcomed three new ICS members as participants of BSCI: Carrefour, Groupe Casino and Galeries Lafayette, which will provide updates to all other ICS members on BSCI developments. As of January 2017, Colruyt Group officially uses only BSCI as its single social management system.
This cooperation agreement has contributed to a better alignment of systems and has enabled both organisations to agree on a common vision of sustainable supply chains, based on the values of transparency and responsibility.