AIM-PROGRESS - Program for responsible sourcing
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16 November 2016

Britvic, Heineken and RB join forces to promote responsible sourcing in Brazil

Three AIM-PROGRESS member companies Britvic, Heineken and Reckitt Benckiser join forces to promote responsible sourcing in Brazil


AIM-Progress is a forum of FMCG manufacturers and common suppliers, assembled to enable and promote responsible sourcing practices and sustainable supply chains. AIM-Progress organises regular supplier events to proactively promote responsible sourcing standards in the supply chain.


On the 1st of November, member companies Britvic, Heineken and RB co-hosted a supplier event in Sao Paulo for over 120 suppliers, to provide an overview of their responsible sourcing programmes and focused on two relevant challenges within Brazil - deforestation and corruption:



Deforestation: The Forest Trust (TFT), an international not for profit organisation working to build responsible supply chains, covered the socio-economic and environmental issues linked to deforestation for many of our key raw materials and proposed steps suppliers can take to source these more responsibly. Amongst the issues highlighted, illegal logging was put forward, with an estimated 70% of illegal logging taking place in the Brazilian Amazon, leading to human rights abuses with indigenous and local populations.


Anti-corruption: Professor Luiz Eduardo de Almeida from the Escola Paulista de Direito, presented an overview of Brazilian corruption legislation and real life scenarios suppliers may face to provide them with a better understanding of how to conduct their operations with integrity. Luiz Eduardo’s key message was that “Brazil has a unique and complex regulation regarding business integrity and anti-corruption. For a company, to be prepared to navigate in this scenario, it is necessary to have an effective compliance program, built in and integrated environment”.


Smaller interactive workshops were held in the afternoon covering good labour and H&S practices within manufacturing facilities by DNV-GL, along with sessions from two server providers used to verify compliance to social and environmental standards, EcoVadis and Sedex.


Highlights of the event included : “No doubt I considered the event of great importance, because it calls us to analyze the internal processes, always seeking for improvements and adaptations to market expectations, with transparency and awareness, emphasizing safety and a posture of respect." - Hélio Rezende, Creatto Design.






14 November 2016

How to build a robust responsible sourcing programme

AIM-PROGRESS is pleased to announce the release of its Responsible Sourcing Journey (RSJ)  - a roadmap for companies in the FMCG supply chain to help them put in place robust responsible sourcing programmes. It lays out 5 stages of development: early - launched - mature - integrated - leading. These 5 stages represent a gradual shift of mindset from demonstrating commitment through assuring compliance to leadership through value-generation.


The RSJ is not meant to be a detailed manual but a tool to benchmark where companies are along their journey and to offer some guiding points on how one could move forward.


We will complement the RSJ through a Resource Library which will provide an easy to use entry to learning resources (tools, templates, training courses, videos, webinars, useful documents, etc.) to support companies along their journey. 


This RSJ is intended for both buyers and suppliers, on the principle that suppliers have a supply base and hence a responsible sourcing journey to follow too. 


It is available here for interested companies.



05 October 2016

Brands host joint supplier workshop in Bangkok to promote responsible sourcing

„The Journey of a thousand miles begins with one step“. This quote by Lao Tzu was echoed by the six member companies of AIM-PROGRESS co-hosting the organisation’s latest supplier training event in Bangkok on 5 October, in urging the 360+ attending suppliers (representing 150 companies) to define their own steps in implementing responsible sourcing in Thailand.


The AIM-PROGRESS Responsible Sourcing Journey, a roadmap for brands and suppliers towards establishing robust programs for socially, ethically and environmentally sustainable supply chains, will help companies on their path.


A selection of host companies presented key features of their responsible sourcing programmes showing that ethical supply chains and certified commodity sourcing are becoming the norm in the FMCG brands sector. Two NGOs – CARE and OXFAM -, as well as BSR, highlighted the need for companies to engage with workers, especially women; to make public commitments to improving supply chain conditions and to show they are making progress.





Whilst the morning session provided a rationale for why responsible sourcing is part of doing business with brands, the afternoon was an opportunity for a practical deep dive into four high priority issues to help suppliers define their own next steps:

·        Forced and migrant labour, which has been very much in the news in the Thai fishing industry lately. About half of Thailand’s 3.25 million foreign workers have an irregular status and are therefore particularly prone to labour exploitation, already starting at recruitment, depriving them of freedom of movement and withholding payment.

·        Overtime working hours, which lead to absenteeism, accidents at work, high workforce turnover, with recommendations on how to reduce occurrence.

·        Grievance mechanisms: 54% of companies in the conference said they still on the anonymity of suggestion boxes, not nessecarily very effective though.

·        Discrimination, where it occurs, the legal context and how to remedy incidences of discrimination.


In workshops, run with the help of audit house SGS, participants could discuss in more detail the problems which are plaguing supply chains in the Thai labour market, and to identify their own relevant actions.


David Lawrence, Executive Director of AIM-PROGRESS, expressed his delight at seeing “so many suppliers to major brands eager to engage and find collaborative solutions to these issues”.


AIM-PROGRESS organizes regular supplier events across the globe in markets where member companies see a need for addressing responsible sourcing. This event was co-hosted by ABF, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, PepsiCo, SC Johnson and Unilever.


The next event is scheduled for 1 November in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and will be co-hosted by Britvic, Heineken and Reckitt Benckiser.




12 September 2016

Managing third party risk - New protocol on anti-bribery and corruption

AIM-PROGRESS members can now benefit from a new tool to enable a methodical approach to the management of 3rd party bribery and corruption risks.  This is different from other publicy available white papers in that it is focused on what to do, how to do it, and who should be responsible; it is therefore a practical method that can be followed


The work, which AIM-PROGRESS carried out with the company Consulting Ethic, was based on an in-depth survey of the membership to understand better FMCG companies' requirements in this area. The deliverable consists of a protocol and a supporting guidance paper on how to use the protocol.


The plan going forward is to assess the possibility of running a pilot to understand and report on the use of the protocol in real life and to provide an opportunity for refinements and additions. 


AIM-PROGRESS members can access the protocol and guidance document on the member zone of our website










26 July 2016

18,000 audited supplier sites available for mutual recognition

One of the main drivers for setting up AIM-PROGRESS was to enable mutual recognition of ethical audits with the objective of reducing audit costs and fatigue. A simple spreadsheet through which member companies share supplier sites they have audited over the last three years - duly anonomysed by the Secretariat - provides a central resource for participants to check whether a supplier they wish to audit has already undergone an assessment by another company, and which they might be ready to recognise. We are pleased to report that the latest list contains over 18,000 supplier sites which are available for mutual recognition of audits.

Of course, mutual recognition can only work if audits are based on equivalent audit protocols - the AIM-PROGRESS benchmark is the SMETA 4 pillar audit. Given the increasing member expectations for ethical audits AIM-PROGRESS is actively contributing to an enhancement of SMETA to include more checkpoints, such as land rights, migrant labor, human trafficking, increased environmental and business integrity expecations. The updated SMETA protocol is expected for the end of 2016.

To learn more about how AIM-PROGRESS enables mutual recognition you can go to the relevant page on our website.






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