On 28th October, The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) Managing Director, Wai-Chan Chan, was pleased to join a panel session at the fourth annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) entitled “Promoting a Worker-Centric Trade Policy in the Indo-Pacific,” to discuss the CGF’s social sustainability strategy and how it can positively impact consumer goods supply chains in the Indo-Pacific.

In the session, Wai-Chan shared what the CGF is and its work to help companies advance and improve their due diligence and responsible sourcing activities through two CEO-led Coalitions of Action: the Human Rights Coalition — Working to End Forced Labour (HRC) and the Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative (SSCI). He prefaced that the CGF’s strategy on social sustainability is founded on the CGF’s social resolution on forced labour and the Priority Industry Principles. 

Currently, he explained, the CGF is helping companies drive positive social impacts throughout global value chains by focusing on: 

  • Making the human rights due diligence (HRDD) approach the norm in companies’ own operations;
  • Tackling human rights abuses in the palm oil sector through the HRDD approach;
  • Enabling the development of responsible recruitment markets in southeast Asian migrant corridors;
  • Advocating for the rights of seafarers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis; and 
  • Benchmarking third-party social monitoring and certification schemes through public-private cooperation via industry initiatives like the SSCI.

He also explained that collaboration with both CGF members and external organisations is key to make progress on these objectives, and shared information about partnerships such as that between the HRC and the Fair Labor Association and the International Organization for Migration are the foundation for accelerated impact.

For the session, Wai-Chan was joined by Katherine Tai, U.S. Trade Representative, The Office of the United States Trade Representative; Martin Walsh, Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor; Muhammad Lutfi, Indonesian Minister of Trade; and Shoya Yoshida, the ITUC Asia-Pacific General Secretary. 

The CGF thanks the IPBF for the opportunity to join this important event and discuss how greater collaboration can serve to support and protect workers’ rights in the Indo-Pacific region.

To learn more about the CGF’s social sustainability work, visit the HRC and SSCI websites.