Although primary responsibility for compliance with Walmart’s Standards for Suppliers rests with the supplier, one way in which we drive a responsible supply chain is by identifying areas where Walmart can leverage its size and influence to assist its suppliers in making a positive and lasting impact on the people and communities from which they source.
Through close coordination and collaboration with industry stakeholders, NGOs, governments and other partners, we are working to improve transparency, empower workers and drive compliance in several key areas:
Driving safer working conditions in the Bangladesh ready-made garment industry
Walmart is working toward significant and sustainable reform of the ready-made garment industry in Bangladesh. In 2013 we issued enhanced life and fire safety requirements and worked with Bureau Veritas, a world leader in assessment and certification services, to complete up to four phases of inspections for factories in Bangladesh that produce ready-made garments directly for Walmart. In-depth results of these factory assessments are available here.
We know that true reform requires many stakeholders working together for change. As a founding member of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, we are collaborating with the industry, non-governmental organizations, worker organizations and local governments to drive safer working conditions for the men and women in our supply chain.
Additional information about our efforts in Bangladesh is available here.
Improving labor conditions in Mexico’s produce supply chain
We are working with our suppliers and their growers to help them improve conditions for workers and better understand Walmart’s expectations. We are also working with our suppliers to test a new approach at the grower level in Mexico, and we are interested in working with others to develop mechanisms to improve the safety and well-being of growers and farm workers.
Addressing human trafficking in the Thai seafood industry
Walmart investigates allegations that supplier facilities within the scope of Walmart’s Responsible Sourcing program are involved in human trafficking. However, human trafficking is a complex issue that can extend beyond the scope of Walmart’s Responsible Sourcing audit program. That is why we are working to form coalitions and partnerships and engaging with government with the goal of developing sustainable improvements in the industry.
Because the ethical recruitment and treatment of Thai seafood workers is important to Walmart, we actively engaged the Government of Thailand in 2015 to share our expectations regarding enforcement and oversight of the seafood industry. This includes strengthening the legal framework and oversight for the Departments of Fisheries and Labor and effectively prosecuting those involved in human trafficking. We are also working with initiatives such as Project Issara to make progress on this critical issue.
Walmart will continue to work with its suppliers to take meaningful steps to improve the safety and wellbeing of the men and women across our global supply chain.