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21 Jan 2013

Sonja Vartiala, Henri Purje, Andy Hall, Katariina Vihersalo, Anu Aukeala, Finnwatch (Finland)

Cheap has a high price: Responsibility problems relating to international private label products and food production in Thailand

...A key trend in retail chains' price competition is developing and introducing their own private label products. This refers to goods that are produced by an external supplier but sold under the retail company's own brand...Constant search for the cheapest price may...mean that the responsibility and sustainability of production in the global South does not receive sufficient attention in the procurement process...This report...analyses the responsibility of the procurement
process of the biggest Finnish retail chains' private label products...The responsibility challenges related to the supply chain management of private label
goods are illustrated through three in-depth case studies. The data was assembled through fieldwork...in the provinces of...Thailand.  The field research was carried out by a team managed by Andy Hall...The investigation covered two tuna companies, Unicord and Thai Union Manufacturing, as well as a pineapple processing company called Natural Fruit...The research confirmed, the success and prosperity of these labour intensive export sectors, too often rests on the exploitation of a mainly non-Thai migrant workforce...Forced labour, human trafficking, child labour, low wages and other serious violations continue to characterise the operations of some pineapple and tuna companies in Thailand...