AIM-PROGRESS membership meeting in Pilsen

SAB Miller hosted this year's last of three annual AIM-PROGRESS membership meetings at their brewery in Pilsen in the Czech Republic from 29-31 October. David Lawrence was confirmed as chairman for another year; new vice-chair will be Steve Fischer of Colgate-Palmolive. Tribute was paid to Stuart Kyle of Coca-Cola, who has been "vice-chairing" the initiative over the past three years and has been a staunch supporter of the program since its early days. A new part-time staff member, Chris Thurston, will replace Clare Flannery who is leaving AIM-PROGRESS to take up a position with a member company. As part of the governance discussions, it was also decided to strengthen the membership criteria for AIM-PROGRESS to ensure that the initiative remains a platform of leading companies actively engaging in responsible sourcing, rather than just talking about it. AIM-PROGRESS also confirmed its interest to collaborate more closely with GSCP (Global Social Compliance Program), an initiative under the umbrella of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) on a number of topics, including supplier and member capability building, auditor competence, systems interoperability, the environmental pillar of responsible sourcing. Nick Forster, of FSI-Worldwide, an ethical recruitment body, provided members with insights into the lot of migrant workers and how business can prevent labour exploitation and provide value to their companies by improving their recruitment practices based on quality and ethics. Whilst supplier compliance  remains a top focus area for AIM-PROGRESS, first discussions were also held on how to put into practice AIM-PROGRESS' strategic aspiration to "go beyond compliance", with some concrete ideas to be further formalised by the AIM-PROGRESS Leadership Team. The next meeting will be held in Miami (US) from 4-7 March 2014.