BUILD CAPACITY

Invest in long-term improvements

All journeys begin with a single step. Start with the improvements your company is able to make now, then broaden your scope over time.
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ACTION

01

Engage in supply chain improvements with suppliers

Work in collaboration

  • Work alongside suppliers to create the opportunity for real and lasting improvement in supply chains:
    • Establish processes to identify operational issues with suppliers. 
    • Develop and implement corrective mechanisms to resolve company-level operational issues.
      • E.g., failed audits, not providing data to buyers, other instances of non-compliance.
    • Share corrective processes, including time-bound expectations and follow-up plans to confirm corrective actions.
    • Connect issues to broader systems management improvement plans.

Consider business strategy

  • Attempt to implement improvements with suppliers prior to terminating the business relationship.
    • Ensure the necessary support is available for suppliers to implement improvements.
    • Set agreed upon consequences for chronic failure to meet commitments.

Value local stakeholder knowledge

  • Identify local stakeholders that may support supply chain companies’ efforts to meet company and legal requirements.
    • The RISE Community includes organizations supporting social responsibility across the globe.

ACTION

02

Build interoperable traceability systems

Encourage transparency through traceability

  • Develop and implement interoperable, electronic traceability systems (or support existing traceability efforts) to encourage transparency between supply chain actors.
    • Traceability is a critical tool for improving logistical efficiency, verifying sustainability and social responsibility claims, and ensuring products are produced legally.

RISE Topics

ACTION

03

Establish long-term sourcing agreements

Scope long-term agreements

  • Identify products and supply chains with potential for long-term contracts or sourcing agreements.
    • Long-term contracts offer the following benefits:
      • Supply chain resilience against disruption.
      • Risk mitigation through more transparent and easily traceable sourcing.
      • Efficiency gains (i.e., a potential reduction in staff time spent seeking out or establishing partnerships with new suppliers).
      • More secure inventory of socially responsible, sustainable, or innovative products in which the company has invested.
    • Elements of long-term contracts may include:
      • Timeframe longer than one year, with built-in mechanisms for extension.
      • Specifications regarding quantity, quality, and parameters for determining price of the product purchased.
      • Specifications regarding social responsibility, sustainability, impact to workers or the land, and other shared priorities.
      • Resolution and conflict management processes.
      • Non-exclusivity clauses and insurance against non-compliance.

Pilot

  • Trial supply chain improvements through pilots with long-term suppliers, with the intention of scaling, if successful.
    • Pilots provide the following benefits to companies: 
      • Calculated investments that may inform future practices or provide long-term payoffs.
      • Opportunities to share specific supply chain challenges and gains through public communications.
      • Increased understanding of supply chain challenges and potential next steps.

Consider the costs

  • Support long-term suppliers to implement improvements through regular communication of successes and challenges, fair pricing of goods, and shared compliance and verification costs.

SSRN, Mendeley, and Elsevier

ACTION

04

Support worker engagement by requiring effective grievance mechanisms and encouraging freedom of association and collective bargaining for all seafood workers

Provide access to effective grievance

  • Ensure that seafood workers are able to safely access trusted, effective grievance or worker voice mechanisms; ensure that safeguards exist to protect workers’ confidentiality and prevent retaliation, recrimination, and dismissal.

Uphold core labor rights

  • Uphold seafood workers’ right to freely associate and promote seafood workers’ access to collective bargaining through trade unions. In countries with legal limitations to the rights to associate and bargain, or in sectors with limited unionization (such as work on the high seas), other forms of association or collective negotiation may need to be encouraged and fostered.
    • Utilize worker committees, trade unions, and worker voice programs to solicit worker feedback even when a grievance has not been reported.
    • Encourage global government and regulatory alignment with the International Labour Organization’s fundamental principles and rights at work, including freedom of association and the right to organize and collectively bargain, through collaborations and advocacy.

Optimize Your Company's Path

Discover how companies can apply the RISE Roadmap to improve their social responsibility practices.

Retailers/Brands

  • Establish frequent, transparent, and supportive dialogue with supply chains regarding social responsibility progress, corrective actions, and other improvements.
    • Engage with suppliers to implement improvements before cutting business ties.
  • Require suppliers to uphold seafood workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • Leverage market power to advocate for policies that support freedom of association and collective bargaining for seafood workers.
  • Invest in high-risk or high-volume sourcing regions through pilots.
  • Implement long-term sourcing agreements or other sourcing strategies to reinforce and strengthen supply chains.

Suppliers

  • Establish frequent, transparent, and supportive dialogue with supply chains regarding social responsibility progress, corrective actions, and other improvements.
    • Engage with suppliers to implement improvements before cutting business ties.
  • Require suppliers to uphold seafood workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  • Leverage market power to advocate for policies that support freedom of association and collective bargaining for seafood workers.
  • Invest in high-risk or high-volume sourcing regions through pilots.
  • Implement long-term sourcing agreements or other sourcing strategies to reinforce and strengthen supply chains.

Processors

  • Partner with local human rights and civil society organizations to support worker engagement mechanisms.
  • Encourage collective bargaining and freedom of association for workers at your company, or alternative forms of engagement where not legally permissible (e.g., worker committees).
  • Ensure safe and legal working conditions, living conditions, and payment systems in company operations, and comply with relevant laws, codes of conduct, and seafood worker contracts.

Producers

  • Partner with local human rights and civil society organizations to support worker engagement mechanisms.
  • Encourage collective bargaining and freedom of association for workers at your company, or alternative forms of engagement where not legally permissible (e.g., worker committees).
  • Ensure safe and legal working conditions, living conditions, and payment systems in company operations, and comply with relevant laws, codes of conduct, and seafood worker contracts.

Build the Foundation

Responsible Recruitment

  • Ensure grievance mechanisms are inclusive of issues that occurred during the recruitment process.
  • Invest in pilots or research regarding recruitment practices in your company’s supply chains or regions of focus.

Worker Engagement

  • At minimum, ensure effective grievance mechanisms in your company’s supply chains.
  • Share information about the resolution of grievances and corrective action plans regarding grievances with workers to build trust and encourage engagement.
    • Invest in establishing or scaling effective grievance mechanisms.
  • Consider shared grievance mechanisms with other companies, including pooling funds to reimburse workers or provide other forms of remedy.
  • Proactively remove barriers to freedom of association and collective bargaining in your company’s operations.
    • Provide suitable mechanisms for ideas and concerns to be communicated from workers to management.
    • To the fullest extent allowed by law, there should be no negative repercussions for organizing.
    • Grant trade unions representing workers access to the workplace as appropriate.

Decent Work at Sea

  • Ensure vessel workers receive training on safety, working conditions, rights at sea, payment, and other relevant information prior to departure.
  • Invest in pilot projects and field-test new technologies on vessels, especially for the following high-priority topics:
  • Support long-term improvements for at-sea work, including establishing and verifying safe living and working on vessels.
  • Work with civil society organizations to improve the ability of workers on distant water fishing vessels to freely associate and participate in collective bargaining.
  • Build traceability systems to begin at the vessel and feed segment of seafood supply chains.

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