Cindy Chan: Towards a more transparent supply chain
Kesko and the Swedish ICA have worked together on the sourcing of home and speciality goods via ICA Global Sourcing (IGS) in Asia since 2016. The cooperation concentrates on the sourcing of home and speciality goods sold at K-food stores. The local IGS corporate responsibility team is, together with Kesko, in charge of assuring the social responsibility of factories.
ICA Global Sourcing (IGS) has offices in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India, with over 100 employees.
Assuring the social responsibility of suppliers’ factories and securing product quality form a central part of the cooperation. In addition to third-party social audits such as amfori BSCI, IGS has developed its own social auditing tools, the ICA social audit. The pragmatic approach of the ICA social audit allows for easier communications between factory representatives and IGS auditors.
ICA social audit has four steps:
•Factory and dormitory tour
•Confidential employee interview
Social responsibility issues are a challenge in high-risk countries. In India, for example, working at home and subcontracting are prevailing. Therefore, we strive for transparency rather than perfection in our supply chain. We can only demand continuous improvement from the factories if we know their actual situation.
In case any critical findings are identified during the auditing of a factory, the IGS CR team will communicate with Kesko’s purchasing team and CR team within 24 hours. If required, a red alert meeting will be called for, in which all parties will discuss the best possible solution to handling the specific case.
The combination of the ICA social audit and third-party audits has proved to be an excellent way to promote the transparency of the supply chain. The sourcing cooperation enables wider and high-quality selections of home and speciality goods, and, thus, creates added value to Kesko and the customers of K-stores. Thanks to the efficient process, Kesko now has a good command of their supply chain.
Social Compliance Manager of ICA Global Sourcing