My trip to New York last year was a whirlwind affair. I spent three amazing days in New York for the sole purpose of attending the 15th annual Ethical Sourcing Forum.
This intimate forum is hosted by Intertek Group; a multinational inspection, product testing and certification organisation. It provides an opportunity for participants to network with expert presenters and learn from the robust discussions, panels, workshop opportunities and question times.
I believe the Ethical Sourcing Forum is a wonderful initiative by Intertek, and demonstrates their organisation’s commitment to social accountability standards. The forum is conducted over one and a half days and is a Mecca for those who are passionate, when it comes to sourcing ethically.
The well planned agenda provides maximum exposure to a broad range of informative and passionate speakers; including researchers, academics, factory owners, employed factory auditors, entrepreneurs, not for profit organisations and representatives from companies who have implemented ethical trading practices into their businesses.
For me the highlight was sharing the room with so many like-minded people who are all working tirelessly, with such great enthusiasm and dedication, to ensure goods for the world market are produced using ethical business practices. We all want to see a world where workers are respected, treated fairly and kept safe.
However I also came away feeling privileged to have been a participant at this event and inspired by the fascinating presentation made by keynote speaker Justin Dillon. As a founder of nonprofit organisation ‘Made in a Free World’, Dillon’s speech was dedicated to abolishing forced labour, human trafficking and modern day slavery.
Most importantly, I learned a great deal about the difficulties auditors face when conducting audits, the challenges and achievements made by specific businesses on their ethical sourcing journey, the marvelous research being done by academics and the journey of those that have made ethical sourcing their calling and want to make a difference in the world.