Social compliance audits are a key tool in assessing factory workplace conditions. Buyers also use audits to assess security and environmental conditions in factories. Nevertheless, there is no comprehensive process for managing or sharing social compliance audit information. Many laudable efforts to create a widespread process have resulted in multiple, duplicative systems.
To help address this challenge, Federated Merchandising Group, Hudson’s Bay Company, Mark’s Work Wearhouse Ltd., Reebok International Ltd., The Wet Seal, the National Retail Federation, the Retail Council of Canada, and World Monitors Inc. have jointly organized The Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC), a collaborative industry effort involving retail and consumer brands and retail trade associations to create a system for managing and sharing audit information.
The Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC), is a collaborative industry effort involving retail and consumer brands and retail trade associations to create a system for managing and sharing audit information.
It is supported through contributions from retail associations and participating companies and through grants, including funding provided by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
The objectives of the FFC are to:
- Improve the availability , comprehensiveness and standardization of factory social compliance audits through the use of a global data management system to track workplace conditions.
- Facilitate the exchange of information concerning factory social compliance audits from internal and external reports without requiring adherence to a particular social compliance audit standard.
- Eliminate the duplication of audits through the sharing of social compliance information.
- Advance and promote education and knowledge about the current status of workplace conditions and steps that companies can take to improve workplace conditions.
The FFC will house a global database of factory information and social compliance audit reports for the purpose of managing and sharing non-competitive information about workplace conditions in a manner that is cost-effective, can inform sourcing decisions by retailers and brands, and help improve factory workplace conditions around the world.