Sedex and BSCI will now co-develop projects and programmes in an effort to increase the sustainability of their memberships. The news comes after the two businesses signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The collaboration should see the two companies working together to tackle issues such as human trafficking and to enhance labour relations at the workplace.
Sedex is the leading non-profit organisation working with buyers, suppliers and auditors to improve global supply chains, and BSCI is the leading business-driven initiative supporting retailers, importers and brands to improve working conditions in supplying factories and farms worldwide.
The partnership will see the two organisations working more closely together, leveraging their joint strengths to drive scale within the responsible sourcing industry. This will establish a firm base and mutual understanding which can be further built upon to continue the collaboration in future.
Jonathan Ivelaw-Chapman, CEO of Sedex, said: “After months of discussion, it is with great excitement that we announce the collaboration between Sedex and BSCI. While the two organisations have historically been competitors, both recognise that simplification and collaboration – core values of Sedex and BSCI – are absolutely crucial to the development of the responsible supply chain industry as a whole.”
Christian Ewert, Director General at FTA said: “Although both organisations will remain separate entities with separate memberships, goals and objectives, we are looking forward to leveraging the considerable market size of both BSCI and Sedex to effect positive change in the industry. We are confident that this MoU will be the start of a long and fruitful relationship for BSCI, Sedex, and the companies that make up our global memberships.”
Within the overall aims of reducing duplication of effort, driving scale and setting the grounds for an active collaboration, the MoU outlines a number of focus areas for immediate attention:
– Human trafficking: BSCI and Sedex will collaborate to align global brands and retailers on best approaches to tackling the issue of human trafficking.
– Shared capacity building: BSCI will explore opportunities to include Sedex members in BSCI capacity building activities.
– Continuous improvement of labour relations: BSCI and Sedex will work together on a common approach to implementing a process of continuous improvement of labour relations at the workplace.
– Audit quality metrics: Working in alignment with the Association for Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA), BSCI and Sedex will develop and launch shared auditor metrics for the management of audit quality. This common approach will help drive a common view of audit quality for suppliers, brands and retailers across the globe.
– Data collaboration: BSCI and Sedex will explore opportunities to collaborate on the outputs of data from both systems that would better support their membership organisations track, manage and predict social and environmental issues in the global supply chain.
– Working group collaboration: Members of the leadership teams of BSCI and Sedex will be given a role on each other’s working groups to explore further opportunities to collaborate.
This new partnership comes at an exciting time for both organisations. Sedex has recently launched ‘Sedex Advance’, the world’s largest collaborative platform for sharing data on supply chains, as its membership continues to expand beyond 38,000 members in over 150 countries. Meanwhile, BSCI has launched its upgraded BSCI 2.0 system – a holistic model fostering responsible business practices – and the FTA Academy, a new online service providing over 1,800 companies and 28,000 producers worldwide with access to exclusive learning material and courses.
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