BSCI and ICS: Merger of Social Compliance Initiatives Successfully Enters Final Phase

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The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) – supporting 1,700 retail, brand and importing companies to improve working conditions in factories and farms worldwide- and Initiative Clause Sociale (ICS) -representing 20 major French and Belgian retailers working to improve sustainability in global supply chains- are pleased to announce that following almost one year of discussions they have made successful progress in uniting their efforts. Having agreed on a common vision for the future, the negotiation phase has been concluded, giving way to the final implementation stage of the merger, which will become effective on 1 January 2017.

The exercise which started in April 2015 has enabled both initiatives to agree on a common vision of sustainable supply chains, based on the values of transparency and responsibility. Having reached a mutual understanding and an agreement on their future integration, the discussions will now focus on the implementation phase of the merger, in which operational matters related to the integration and equivalence of audits, systems and platforms will be clarified.

Christian Ewert, Director General of the Foreign Trade Association (FTA) – the umbrella organisation of BSCI – said: “The positive results achieved so far confirm that the decision to embark together on this project was the right move for both organisations. The merger will provide greater leverage for our members to drive forward social compliance and will consolidate the efforts of both initiatives towards greater impact”.

Both parties expect the implementation phase to be concluded by the end of 2016, paving the way for the merger to become effective as of 1 January 2017.