To confirm the status of compliance with the Basic Supply Chain CSR Policy, particularly regarding human rights and the work environment, we conduct surveys and also local inspections, where personnel associated with Marubeni actually visit local sites to perform interviews.
In February 2011, we conducted a survey that covered 16 suppliers of products for which there were concerns over a risk of undesirable labor practices at the time of manufacture.
These suppliers operate in countries designated as human rights concerns by the FTSE4Good Global Index, a leading index for socially responsible investment (SRI)*.
In the survey, we provided a questionnaire to collect responses on seven themes, including human rights of laborers (prevention of child labor, forced labor, and other related issues), environmental conservation, and fair trade. A local representative of the Group checked the surveys. If specific issues were raised, we requested further details on each of them.
Based on the questionnaire, all suppliers were found to meet the standards of our Basic Supply Chain CSR Policy.
*Socially Responsible Investment (SRI):Investment based on companies' fulfillment of social responsibility as a deciding factor.
To confirm the status of compliance with the Basic Supply Chain CSR Policy, Marubeni conducts on-site inspections of suppliers who are based in countries designated by the FTSE4Good Global Index as carrying a high risk associated with supply chain labor standards, and who trade in the apparel, agriculture, and other sectors. The person in charge from Marubeni directly visited the manufacturing sites, or production sites, of the suppliers to conduct such inspections.
Multifaceted surveys suitable for the business situation and regional characteristics are conducted on-site, covering areas such as respect for human rights, observance of law, preservation of environment, fair trade, safety and health, quality control, and disclosure of information. The issues of the survey and the survey methods are constantly being reviewed, including third-party opinions, in an effort to always be relevant to the current situations. Survey results are also reported back to the visited sites, so that the information can be shared and utilized for further improvement.
In March 2016, Marubeni conducted on-site inspections of factories belonging to Toyo Textile Thai Co., Ltd., which manufactures socks, and S D Fashion Co., Ltd., which manufactures knitted products, to confirm the status of compliance with the Company’s CSR requirements at these factories, which are located in Thailand.
These supply chain CSR inspections examined the sites based around seven areas, including human rights, occupational health and safety, environmental protection, and quality control. The inspection did not find a single area in which either company had failed to comply with the Basic Supply Chain CSR Policy.
Marubeni recently conducted an on-site inspection of Goodricke Group Limited, a manufacturer and dealer of tea and green tea (tea leaves and instant), to confirm their status of compliance with the Basic Supply Chain CSR Policy. Visits were made to the Aibheel Tea Estate and Instant Tea Plant, as well as to Goodricke School for Special Education, a school which is managed through funds from a foundation established by parent company Camellia Plc (headquartered in the U.K.).
The results of the on-site inspections are as follows.
(1) Observance of Laws
The company has listed all the permits and licenses required for the legal operation of the plant and displayed them inside the plant and office. This has prevented the expiry of all necessary permits and licenses.
The company has formed a policy in regard to food safety, worker health and safety, prohibition of child labor, prohibition of forced labor, the environment, waste disposal, and other issues. The main items were displayed in English and in the local Hindi language inside the plant and office.
(2) Basic Human Rights, Discrimination
The company has designated a person responsible for matters concerning human rights who conducts checks during the hiring process to ensure there are no occurrences of discrimination based on sex, race, religion, etc. A suggestion box for employees to voice their grievances in writing regarding issues of human rights and other CSR issues was also in place.
(3) Child Labor, Forced Labor
Our survey confirmed that official photo identification is used as a prevention measure against child labor at the time of recruitment to ensure that no new employees under 18 are hired.
The company stipulates that a regular workday is eight hours in total. Employees are paid an overtime allowance if they are required to work outside this period.
(4) Labor Conditions, Wages
The company has displayed information on regular working hours, shift hours, and wage payment conditions (total amount, date of payment, etc.) in English and in the local Hindi language inside the plant and office, and provides letters of appointment to both regular and temporary employees.
The company has a holiday system in place which allows employees to take annual paid leave, sick leave, maternity leave, and extraordinary leave, in addition to Sundays and public holidays.
Employees are free to join labor unions. The Indian Tea Association and the labor unions hold consultations on employee wages which they revise every three years.
The company provides free housing, electricity, etc. to employees, and assistance to buy food, as well as other benefits. Our survey confirmed that the company pays sufficient consideration to its employees.
(5) Preservation of the Environment
While exhaust gas, drainage, and tea leaf waste occur as a result of the manufacturing process, the company has appropriately managed the environmental impact of these by the environmental management system built into its food safety system.
The company has installed a drainage treatment system in its plant and appropriately treats this water for use in sprinkler systems which irrigate the tea gardens.
The company has shown deep consideration toward the environment by reusing composted tea leaf waste as fertilizer for the tea gardens, as well as other measures.
(6) Fair Transactions
As a subsidiary of parent company Camellia Plc, the company is subject to the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010. The company has adopted a tough stance against the acceptance of monetary reward or gifts, and has all employees sign a pledge regarding the prohibition of bribery.
(7) Safety and Health
Industrial accidents which might be considered to occur at the company include injuries such as cuts and broken bones in the tea gardens, as well as fires.
The frequency of injuries occurring is relatively low. A Chief Medical Officer is stationed at the hospital within the tea garden whose services may be used by both employees and members of their families. The company also conducts regular health checks of all its employees twice a year.
In case of injury and other accidents occurring on-site, an employee with emergency first aid training is put on every shift.
Every two months, firefighting and evacuation training is conducted at alternating locations where fires may be considered to occur.
Regular testing of water quality by external testing agencies is conducted on well water so that safe drinking water may be distributed to employees.
(8) Quality Control
The company has conducted strict quality control. Microscopic analysis is always conducted on the instant range of products manufactured by the company, and tests on air-borne bacteria in the plant, as well as yeast and mold are conducted. Hygiene checks of employees’ hands are also conducted.
(9) Disclosure of Information
The company’s CSR initiatives and efforts are publically displayed in its annual reports and home page, and are updated regularly.
As a result of the survey on Supply Chain CSR, we confirmed that Goodricke Group Limited is conducting advanced CSR initiatives and efforts within the tea and green tea manufacturing and trading industry in India. The survey found that Goodricke Group Limited fulfilled all the requirements of our Basic Supply Chain CSR Policy.
Marubeni conducted this survey in the presence of industry consultant KPMG AZSA Sustainability Co., Ltd. and received advice such as how to conduct the survey from a third party viewpoint.
With the Goodricke School for Special Education staff
The Goodricke Group is focusing on activities which contribute to society. During the recent survey, we inspected the Goodricke School for Special Education — one of the company’s social contribution activities. Locally, special education schools are lacking in number. This school was established in 1993 as a social contribution activity and conducts lessons free of charge through funds from a foundation established by parent company Camellia Plc. At present, approximately 140 special needs students ranging 18 months to 22 years of age are enrolled at the school.
Goodricke School for Special Education currently conducts the following and other activities under the guidance of passionate teachers:
Besides training and learning, the school also conducts regional exchange by inviting students from neighboring schools in the region to participate in exhibitions, and also conducts regular health checks of its students.
During the survey, the students could be seen happily learning and the headmaster and other teachers displayed passion toward the students’ education. We received the impression that the school was an extremely meaningful social contribution activity.
Goodricke Group has been associated in a labor intensive industry and incorporating social causes / initiatives have always occupied a prime focus in our operations. This CSR audit has helped us in actually measuring our own performance against the objectives we have set in our policies. It is an effective tool for monitoring and evaluating our Company’s social performance and the sustainable agricultural practices we have adopted.