The end of the year provides a welcome opportunity to share a recap of some of Verité’s latest accomplishments.
The past year has brought many stories of labor strife, exploitation in workplaces of all kinds, and economic inequality and supply chain disruptions related to the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, trade disputes, climate impacts, and other global challenges. Still, it has been encouraging to see workers around the world organize and push back against the forces arrayed against them, and we have been heartened by signs that public support for workers’ rights is growing as consumers and voters have become more conscious of our global interconnections.
We’ve also been glad to note advances in government regulatory approaches to labor and human rights – procurement reform, import bans, mandatory due diligence regimes and the like— which are shaking up the private sector’s understanding of supply chain accountability and creating new domains for activism for those seeking to influence corporate policies and practices to advance workers’ rights.
At Verité, the evolving economic and regulatory environment has offered exciting opportunities to refine and promote our pioneering, management systems-based approach to human rights due diligence, helping to raise the bar on social sustainability across a range of business sectors, at both enterprise- and supply chain-levels. Going forward, we plan to intensify our efforts to ensure that the definition of human rights due diligence reflects respect for all labor rights — particularly freedom from discrimination and freedom of association — which are often not afforded sufficient attention within the corporate accountability agenda.
As is demonstrated by the selection of projects and accomplishments highlighted below, Verité’s work is characterized by deep knowledge and expertise across many issues and supply chains, and by our commitment to collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, companies, unions, workers, producer organizations, civil society groups, and investors, among others.
We wouldn’t be able to realize our mission without your support.
We appreciate our many colleagues and partners worldwide and look forward to continued cooperation in 2023.
Wishing you all the best,
The Verité Team
Corruption, Recruitment, and Forced Labor E-CourseWith support from Humanity United, Verité launched a new, free, interactive, e-learning course that explores how public corruption in the foreign worker recruitment process renders migrant workers vulnerable to debt bondage: "Nice Products: A Story of Corruption, Recruitment, and Forced Labor."
Addressing Forced Labor Risk in West African CocoaIn 2022, Verité continued its leadership role on the issue of forced labor in the West African cocoa industry, implementing trainings for cocoa suppliers on identifying and addressing forced labor, and supporting cocoa companies to develop response protocols to help them respond promptly and effectively when indicators of forced labor are found.
Forced Labor Indicators in Côte d’Ivoire and GhanaThe Forced Labor Indicators Project (FLIP) collaborated with government, civil society, trade unions, and private sector stakeholders in Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire to conduct 15 trainings in 2022, facilitating exchange of learnings and co-creation of materials and resources for diverse stakeholders, and encouraging cooperation in addressing forced labor and trafficking risk in both countries.
Responsible Sourcing Tool in 2022Verité’s Responsible Sourcing Tool (RST) is a leading public resource on the risks of human trafficking in global supply chains, providing free, practical tools for combatting trafficking risk for U.S. federal contractors and other actors. In 2022, new tools for the facilities services sector were added to the site, with more resources coming soon.
Farm Labor Due Diligence in 2022The Farm Labor Due Diligence Initiative is a Verité-led collaborative launched in 2022 to help define and support good human rights due diligence in global agricultural supply chains. The project centers on creation of open-source tools and other resources and is supported by an Advisory Council of leading companies and civil society organizations.
CUMULUS Forced Labor Screen in 2022In 2022 Verité’s patented, secure, technology-driven CUMULUS Forced Labor Screen™ system implemented a new Employer Pays Verification feature and surpassed a major milestone, having proactively screened more than 1,000 entities in global supply chains for the presence of the ILO forced labor indicators.
SENDEROS in 2022The Sowing Rights, Harvesting Better Futures (SENDEROS) project promotes adherence of the sugarcane and tobacco sectors in Mexico to national regulations and international labor standards. In 2022, SENDEROS collaborated with the Mexican government, companies, producers, and farmworkers to build capacities to detect, remedy, and prevent labor rights issues.
STREAMS in 2022As part of the Supply Chain Tracing and Engagement Methodologies (STREAMS) project, Verité developed the Supply Chain Traceability Matrix. Launching in early 2023, the Matrix is an accessible, interactive platform to learn how different traceability methods can be used to combat labor abuses in global supply chains.
COFFEE in 2022During 2022 Verité conducted actionable research and engaged stakeholders as part of the Cooperation On Fair, Free, Equitable Employment (COFFEE) project to create, refine, and launch a set of 17 tools comprising the Socially Sustainable Sourcing Toolkit (S3T) to meet the needs of key coffee sector stakeholders.