BSCI and Sedex Audits in China: What Importers Must Know

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BSCI Sedex audits in China

Importers are facing more pressure from customers to ensure that their products are, at least to a certain extent, ethically produced.

However, actively monitoring working conditions in a country far away, costs millions of dollars. In other words, ensuring social compliance in China is out of reach for any company that’s not on the Fortune 500.

That’s where BSCI and Sedex comes in.

What is BSCI?

Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is a system meant to make supply chains more transparent and fair.

Importers and manufacturers anywhere in the world can become BSCI members, which requires them to comply with the 11 core BSCI principles:

  • The Rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
  • Fair Remuneration
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Special Protection for Young Workers
  • No Bonded Labour
  • Ethical Business Behaviour
  • Decent Working Hours
  • No Child Labour
  • No Precarious Employment
  • Protection of the Environment

Audits are carried out, by accredited companies such as Intertek, to verify that the supplier complies with these principles.

Each audit rates the supplier in one of the following categories:

  • A (Outstanding)
  • B (Good)
  • C (Acceptable)
  • D (Insufficient)
  • E (Unacceptable)

However, BSCI is not a certification scheme. It’s based on gradual improvements over time. Continue reading BSCI and Sedex Audits in China: What Importers Must Know

Social Compliance Audits in China: By Renaud Anjoran

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Renaud Anjoran, the founder of Sofeast in Shenzhen, is a well-known expert in quality assurance and factory audits. In this article, Renaud shares his insights in a topic that is more relevant than ever to importers: Social Compliance. Keep reading, and learn more about the various Social Compliance Audit protocols and the situation differ between major industries – including Textiles, Electronics and Toys. In addition, he also explains why so many suppliers fail Social Compliance Audits. While many business owners assume that the main issue, and risk, is underage labour, that is not the case.

Why are Social Compliance Audits (SCA) necessary when doing business with Chinese manufacturers?

There are several reasons why Western importers need their suppliers’ factories to be audited for social compliance.

First, consumer brands are under intense media scrutiny. Journalists generally don’t investigate in what conditions certain products are made, but from time to time they surface some information that causes a scandal. Think Nike and child labor, or Apple and the suicides at Foxconn. The key here is to know about potential scandals and push suppliers to act.

Continue reading Social Compliance Audits in China: By Renaud Anjoran

Social Entrepreneurship and Importing from China – Interview with Kevin Ackermann of BACA Jewellery in London

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kevin ackermann social Entrepreneurship

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I’ve met hundreds of business owners from all corners of the world since I started out. One that really made a lasting impression on me was Kevin Ackermann, co-founder and CEO of BACA Jewellery Ltd based in London, UK. In this week’s article we introduced you to the importance of branding when importing products from China, something that Kevin Ackermann has managed exceptionally well. In this interview he tells us about his journey that started with a flight to Shanghai and brought him all the way to the United Nations.

Kevin, please tell us a bit about what you do, how you got started and how it involves China.

I am a Social Entrepreneur running and advising several startups based in London and San Francisco, CA. I am very passionate about retail hence my interactions with factories in China.

At BACA Jewellery, where I am currently acting as CEO, we import pearls and other components from China. Even though 98% of cultured freshwater pearls come from China and the region has built up a great reputation for its quality pearl jewellery, I wanted to check out every step of the supply chain myself to make sure that we do not exploit anybody. Continue reading Social Entrepreneurship and Importing from China – Interview with Kevin Ackermann of BACA Jewellery in London