Retailers step up support for supply chain workers

Woolworths, Ben & Jerry’s and Fair Spirits are just some of the retail businesses participating in Fairtrade Australia’s Fortnight initiative this year.

The trade organisation runs the campaign each August to highlight ethical issues in the supply chains of many industries, as well as to show the positive differences made to families and communities that receive the benefits of its work.

Fairtrade is holding events with retailers around the country from August 2-15 to drive awareness of global working conditions.

“We want people to become familiar with the Fairtrade Mark, which symbolises a farmer working in the field,” Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand chief executive Molly Harriss Olson said. 

“What people may not know is that this logo stretches far beyond the farmer – it represents their community and family living – and relies on consumers’ support. We want people to remember that when drinking their morning coffee or enjoying a chocolate treat, they can make a decision for good.”

As part of the events, producer and Fairtrade Farmer Mitchell Ricky will tour Australia and New Zealand to give first hand experience of his journey in the coffee trade, and advocate for better working conditions, fairer prices, sustainable practices, environmental protection and the empowerment of farmers and workers alike. 

Coles, Aldi and Woolworths each sell Fairtrade-certified products, which helps to provide education, training, clean water access and better conditions for workers.

Modern Slavery Act kicks business into gear

Businesses across industries are starting to take the treatment of their supply chain workers more seriously, with the enactment of the Modern Slavery Act on January 1, 2019.

The most recent Ethical Fashion Report by Baptist World Aid Australia found that many businesses are improving their efforts due to the Act.

The report stated that there was no doubt the new legislation would be a catalyst for change in the business community, and highlighted the fact that businesses which fail to report annually will be “named and shamed” as a key motivator.

‘With the Modern Slavery Act set to cause waves in the Australian fashion industry, Baptist World Aid are excited to see Australia finally begin to meet the ethical standards that are demonstrated globally,” Baptist World Aid Australia chief executive John Hickey said. 

“Year on year, we are proud to see more Australian companies taking a proactive step in being accountable to consumers and workers by participating in our report, and we hope the ACt motivates more companies to follow suit.”

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