A global supply chain that's fair to workers

    A garments factory in Bangladesh. Photo by: jankie / CC BY-NC-ND

    The U.K. aid agency has launched an initiative meant to ensure fair labor conditions for farmers and other workers in the developing world who are increasingly being plugged into global supply chains by large international corporations.

    The Trade and Global Value Chains initiative, launched Jan. 29 by the Department for International Development, is expected to forge partnerships with “food and clothing retailers, local charities and governments to help farmers and workers employed by suppliers that operate in global supply chains.”

    “Through this project, businesses can get involved in improving conditions in the developing countries that form a crucial part of their supply chains. This will develop skills, help build stronger economies and lead to more sustainable supply chains,” said U.K. Secretary for International Development Justine Greening in a press statement.

    TGVC’s first partnership is between DfID and the Waitrose Foundation. The goal is to train 16-to-25-year-olds to succeed in the field of horticulture. TGVC will be piloted in Bangladesh, South Africa and Kenya.

    The initiative comes after DfID released a new code of conduct for suppliers on Jan. 18, the latest in what promises to be a series of guidelines resulting from an internal spending review launched in September.

    The two-page document lays out DfID’s “expectations” for its suppliers in somewhat vague terms - to “improve value for money,” for instance, act accountably and pursue DfID’s stated international development goals.

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    About the author

    • Louie-An Pilapil

      Louie-An is a former senior development analyst at Devex Manila. She has held consulting and editorial positions at the Asian Development Bank in Manila and a business-to-business media company in Hong Kong and mainland China.