Network Roundup July 2020

14-07-2020

 

Read this month’s update on trade and sustainability topics, with on the ground analysis from our international network.

 

Greater China

Yolanda Kwok

Network Representative, Greater China

New Project Group Launched

amfori is looking for Members to join our new Project Group on the amfori Quality Management Initiative (QMI). The group will meet regularly to discuss quality management on production sites, advise on the design of the amfori QMI service model and participate in pilot test activities.

Planned activities

•            Share business insights

•            Support the planning of pilot test of assessment tools in China

•            Provide views on business models

•            Review and provide input on draft documents and analysis

Applications will be accepted until 22 July 2020 and the Project Group will run from August 2020 till March 2021.

More information and to apply.

 

Spain

Isabel Castillo

Network Representative, Spain

Extraordinary Green Measures to Support the Wine Industry in Spain

During the first quarter of 2020, Spanish data shows a significant drop in wine sales. This is primarily due to the closure of the hospitality and tourism sectors in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Average prices for Spanish wine are also expected to decline.

The Ministry of Agriculture implemented a set of extraordinary measures to alleviate the pandemic’s negative impact on the Spanish wine sector and to avoid a surplus of wine during the upcoming season. The measures include crisis distillation of USD 74 million (EUR 65.5 million), USD 17 million (EUR 15 million) in aid for private storage and USD 11 million (EUR 10 million) for greening. The greening measure will be paid directly to wine growers and, for the first time in Spain, allows plots covered under PDO to apply for support. It is important to note that these measures taken to support the wine sector and to balance the market are accompanied by market regulation measures such as limitations on grape yields per hectare.

Improvement of Working Conditions in Fisheries

On 30 June, the Council of Ministers in Spain approved regulation to improve working conditions in the fishing sector. With this regulation, the Government completes the transposition of Directive (EU) 2017/159, adopted in 2016, after the agreement of the social partners in the fishing sector. This is also a preliminary step for the ratification of ILO Convention 188 on work in fishing.

The measures taken include the following:

  • Formalisation of a written employment contract and duty to inform workers about essential aspects of the contract
  • Minimum conditions for the crew's accommodation
  • A right to repatriation in the event that the employment relationship is temporarily suspended or permanently terminated
  • Worker's right to medical care is guaranteed, especially in cases of landing in a foreign port
  • no night work for people under 18

More information (in Spanish)

 

US & Canada

Kelli Hoggle

Network Representative, US & Canada

Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 Made Law in June

In the midst of rocky trade negotiations with China, the US passed the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act last month. The Act requires reporting on human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and also paves the way for sanctions to be placed on any foreign person who facilitates human rights abuses in XUAR.

While this Act does not yet have direct impact on companies in the US, sharper attention is being given to the region and those who source from there. In an Advisory issued by the US Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and Homeland Security, US businesses, among others, with connections to XUAR are urged to implement appropriate human rights due diligence policies, procedures, and internal controls to mitigate reputational, economic, and legal risks. US Customs has begun to show increased attention on items being imported form XUAR, like in the case of a recently seized shipment of human hair products believed to have been made from individuals in labor camps in XUAR.