Fairtrade launches free supply chain risk map to track ESG issues

An online tool created by the Fairtrade Foundation aims to promote transparency and cooperation by mapping human rights and environmental risks in supply chains.

The free tool collects data on human rights issues such as child labour, gender rights and living income, as well as environmental risks related to climate change, water, and biodiversity. 

Users can sort the supply chain by commodity, geography, or specific issues they would like to track.

Fairtrade said thorough risk assessment and collaboration with farmers and workers were the cornerstones of sustainable supply chains.

Fairtrade said the tool would be particularly useful for supporting legal obligations on assessing, preventing, and remediating risk in supply chains.

Legislation requiring firms to conduct comprehensive ESG audits of supply chains has recently come into force in Germany and was proposed late last year in Canada

An EU-wide supply chain due diligence directive is also in the pipeline.

Fairtrade’s tool incorporates input collected from farmer cooperatives, workers and management, Fairtrade staff from six continents, and external experts.

The organisation warned, however, this was only the first step for companies looking to identify risks in the supply chain. It encouraged companies to use the map as an opportunity to start dialogue with farmers and workers.

Marike de Peña, president of the Fairtrade Producer Network for Latin America and the Caribbean CLAC, said: “The risk map can facilitate a transparent dialogue between supply chain actors and help companies in building effective responses to address the greatest risks, avoiding further harm to farming communities and the planet.”

The tool currently covers coffee, cocoa, bananas, wine grapes and honey, and the countries associated with those commodities, though it aims to add more products in the coming months.

A similar tool developed by the Open Sourcing Hub went live in November last year which allows companies to share supply chain data to increase visibility into issues such as worker exploitation, negative climate impacts and deforestation.

The Open Sourcing Hub’s tool allows users to track factories in supply chains to see what risks they faced as well as identify areas where companies could work together to improve efficiency.

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