Our AIM-PROGRESS Asia-Pacific hub was set up last year to provide our regional colleagues with a network to address responsible sourcing issues particular to the Asia Pacific region. So far, this hub has held a physical meeting and two webinars with the local member base, and is hosting another physical meeting in Singapore on 14 June to decide on priority areas of focus for the year to come. CSR Asia/ELEVATE are supporting AIM-PROGRESS with hub management.

AIM-PROGRESS will also continue to organise supplier events in geographies where there is joint interest from our member companies. China has been confirmed for a September workshop. Other regions are also in the pipeline and will be confirmed in due course. These events are on invitation only and suppliers will be invited via their customers.

Leveraging technology for responsible sourcing – in particular harnessing the potential offered by blockchain – is a key topic of interest for AIM-PROGRESS members. Our goal is to involve external expertise through webinars and presentations at member meetings. For instance, BSR will be presenting to us on Block chain at our upcoming member meeting end of June. Provenance will be organising a webinar for us in October.

Finally, AIM-PROGRESS members continue to explore collaboration for on-the-ground joint remediation projects for the benefit of our membership linked to specific issues. Our first pilot is about addressing working conditions in Mexico cane sugar harvesting – providing water, rest and shade. A group of four members companies (Barry Callebaut, Coca-Cola, Kellogg and Nestlé) are working together with local mill La Gloria in Veracruz to put in place concrete improvement measures. The project is being managed by an independent third party, ABC Mexico. AIM-PROGRESS is also in discussions with Bonsucro and SAI Platform regarding a more systemic approach to cane sugar working conditions in Mexico.