Chain of Custody Practices: an UFLPA Webinar on Supply Chain Transparency

Masterclass Description

WHAT WILL BE THE IMPACT OF THE NEW EU FORCED LABOUR LAW?

The new European Union law against forced labour promises to revolutionize ethical trade and human rights protection. With the power to ban products made with forced labour, the EU aims to create a fairer and more responsible market. But what will be the real effects of this regulation? Here are four major consequences: 

Increased transparency in supply chains: The law will lead companies to significantly improve the transparency and traceability of their supply chains, adopting advanced technologies to ensure compliance.

Increased investments for companies: Companies will face higher costs to comply with the new regulations, affecting product prices in the market. 

Improved corporate reputation: Companies that commit to ethical labour practices will improve their reputation and gain people trust.

 Which consequence will be the most significant to make this law truly effective?

Speakers

Presentation by Anne Oudard

Anne Oudard, emphasized the importance of going beyond simple certifications to improve transparency and sustainability in the cotton supply chain.

She highlighted that certifications are only a starting point and that significant due diligence is needed to identify and solve specific issues within different supply chains. Anne shared her personal experience launching the research project “Who Made My Cotton” and urged participants to reconnect with cotton farmers to better understand agricultural practices and anticipate potential positive and negative impacts.

She concluded by stressing that only through direct engagement with farmers and a deep understanding of the ecological, social, and economic context can sustainability claims be supported by concrete evidence.

Key Points:

Presentation by Martina Schiuma

The Factory’s approach integrates different traceability methods, adapting to the specific needs of the supply chain:

“We use a combination of mapping, tracing, and tracking based on conditions and supplier responses. This flexibility allows us to respond quickly to legislative and market requirements, ensuring complete and verifiable traceability.

For example, in many cases, we have adopted a forward material traceability approach when we had highly engaged suppliers.

This approach allowed us to follow the production flow from start to finish, collecting real-time data and ensuring that all production stages were correctly documented. In other situations, when suppliers were less collaborative, we opted for backward material mapping, collecting the necessary documents after production had already taken place.”

Key Points:

Presentation by Holly Berger

Holly Berger, Marketing Director at Haelixa LTD, introduced the innovative technology of DNA marking as an advanced solution for improving traceability in the cotton supply chain.

This technology uses synthetic DNA markers applied to cotton during processing, allowing the origin and journey of the material to be tracked throughout the production chain without altering its composition.

Holly explained how this method provides forensic proof of traceability, meeting legal requirements such as those imposed by the UFPA (Uygur Forced Labor Prevention Act). She emphasized the importance of collaborating with trusted partners and validating collected information through quantitative PCR tests, ensuring that every step of the supply chain is accurately monitored.

Key Points:

Presentation by Jacopo Polinori

Jacopo Polinori, Traceability Manager EMEA, addressed the operational challenges of traceability in fashion, focusing on the complexity of fragmented supply chains compared to vertically integrated ones.

“A lot of brands or solutions providers believe that the biggest challenge is find the right IT solution, the right platform that can ensure a complete traceability along the entire supply chain” In my opinion that’s not the point, we have a lot of technologies we could use block chain, RF or QR codes. So this is not a matter of technology it’s just a matter of choice, choice to change the way of working, choice to take in consideration new factors in the business development but first of all choice to change mentality. “

He explained how fragmentation increases the risk of non-compliance with regulations like the UFPA, making it more difficult to collect and verify traceability documents.

We need to establish strong relationships with suppliers and work closely with them to achieve transparency and ensure compliance, standardizing traceability requests to reduce repetition and the workload on suppliers, promoting a more coordinated and effective approach.

Key Points:

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