Is Forced Labor Being Over Looked in Your Supply Chain?

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Is Forced Labor Being Over Looked in Your Supply Chain?

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016 - 3:15pm

CONTENT: Article

As the increase in demand from around the world for quality goods increases, so does the amount of help needed to supply those goods. With big box retailers continuing to source their products from offshore suppliers, staying ahead of compliance initiatives is a must. The risk of running into issues with compliance regulations becomes greater when creating business relationships in other countries. Due to communication barriers and the lack of not being able to see operations conducted, can result in major offenses being done, for example forced labor.

Forced labor continues to be a widely spread human rights issue that tends to be over looked when conducting business overseas. The more complex the supply chain becomes for a company the more issues like these can be over looked.

The seafood industry has seen its fair share of human rights violations, most recently among two US based companies (Rubicon Resources and Wales & Co.) and two Thai seafood companies (Phatthana Seafood Co Ltd. And S.S. Frozen Food Co. Ltd). These companies were suppliers to Wal-Mart until this issue was uncovered.

Many global businesses are unaware of these issues happening within their supply chains and as a result, would face bad publicity and customer backlash. Although in many cases, the business is unaware of these malpractices, but is still hit with the consequences because of their lack of knowledge of their own supply chains.

So what’s next? How do businesses, large and small, find a way to keep track of supply chain issues while staying ahead of regulatory compliance initiatives in areas they conduct business in? The answer is not easy, but the path is not as difficult as one may think. Staying in front of initiatives that affect you is crucial to understanding the impact your supply chain can have. Knowing whom you do business with and understanding their business practices before agreeing to any sort of business transaction.

The court of public opinion is always in session and is continuously looking at companies who do the right things and that fail to do the right thing. Making sure you are one of those companies that are proactive in making sure these issues don’t reside in your supply chain is beneficial. To learn more on how you can avoid this potential supply chain issue, download our Forced Labor FAQ here: