With the benchmarking process around an Ethical Trading and Responsible Sourcing programme proposed by BRCGS completed towards the end of last year, the SSCI has now approved its recognition as a credible and trusted programme.
This addresses the issue raised by the Corporate Accountability Lab in a report last month that the growth in certification schemes over the past decade have been shown to fail those who need them most.
The recognition aligns well to the results of several new research studies that show a significant increase in consumer demand for ethically sourced products during the global pandemic. This further highlights the growing importance that companies need to place on ensuring their entire supply chain operates ethically. Otherwise, they risk not fulfilling assurance requirements.
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A world-first for ethical trade and sustainability standards
Becoming the first scheme to be recognised in this field immediately puts BRCGS in a leadership position in the effort to build credibility among sustainability standards worldwide.
The SSCI is a global initiative run by the Consumer Goods Forum – and the benchmark of choice for the consumer goods industry. When manufacturers, retailers and consumers are looking for standards they can trust, they can look for those with SSCI recognition.
SSCI benchmarking in this area complements the range of well-established and respected GFSI-recognised product safety standards already operated by BRCGS. Spanning global standards for Food Safety, Packaging and Packaging Materials, Storage and Distribution, Agents and Brokers, and now Ethical Trading, these programmes set the benchmark for good manufacturing practice. They also help provide assurance to end customers that products are safe, legal and of high quality.
Our industry can and should deserve the best social sustainability assessment possible.
Benchmarking consumer reassurance and worker protection
Richard Smucker, Executive Chairman of food manufacturing group The JM Smucker Co, is one of the 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries that make up the Consumer Goods Forum.
Congratulating BRCGS on the SSCI approval, he said: “Our industry has shown that benchmarking works – companies can look at the SSCI process and see which programmes are providing credible assessments on our behalf. BRCGS committed themselves early to the mission of SSCI and they thoroughly deserve this recognition by the SSCI Coalition of Action.”
He added: “We encourage all relevant programmes to follow in their footsteps and get benchmarked. Our industry can and should deserve the best social sustainability assessment possible. If you’re working with a programme and they haven’t committed to SSCI like BRCGS has, ask them why.”
Meanwhile, John Kukoly, Director of BRCGS, said: “SSCI sets the bar for what the industry expects from third-party auditing, monitoring and certification schemes. We’re delighted to be the first company in the world to be recognised by the global brands that are members of the SSCI. This makes our Ethical Trading and Responsible Sourcing programme the only true global social compliance standard that gives consumers the reassurance they seek and workers the protection they deserve.”
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