The Common Framework for Responsible Purchasing Practices - BUILDING RESILIENCE IN TEXTILE SUPPLY CHAINS

The Common Framework for Responsible PurchasingPractices (CFRPP) (“the framework”) is a reference point for companies working to improve their purchasing practices and for Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives supporting their member companies in implementing practical improvements in purchasing, to increase the scope for improved working conditions in supply chains.

Relevance of the framework
The purchasing practices of textile and footwear retailers and brands have an enormous influence on factory conditions. Responsible purchasing practices (RPP) are essential to achieve the improvements in factory working conditions that many brands and retailers have publicly committed to.‘Purchasing practices’ are the actions taken by a buying company in order to purchase a product or service (in whole or in part) from a supplying business. They encompass design and product development, planning and forecasting, critical path management, contracts, technical specifications, order placement and lead times, cost and price negotiations, payment terms and also the underlying be haviours, values and principles of purchasers which impact supplying companies and ultimately workers’ lives. Research by the International LabourOrganisation, the Joint Ethical Trading Initiatives,Fair Wear and the Better Buying Institute1, amongst others, has found that pricing below production cost, short-term planning, last minute changes in order specification or order size, inaccurate forecasting and late payments all have negative effects on the management of orders and financial stability of suppliers, which in turn leads to issues related to overtime and wages for workers. Adopting a responsible stance on purchasing contributes to suppliers’ ability to plan production effectively, manage working hours, pay workers fairly and investin improving labour conditions, which in turn helps to boost productivity, stabilise suppliers’ workforces and build resilience in supply chains. Improved purchasing practices will contribute to preventing harm and facilitating both social and environmental improvements in the supply chain.

The OECD ‘Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector’ explicitly calls upon companies to adopt responsible purchasing practices. The response to the COVID-19 crisis has drawn our attention to how crucial responsible purchasing practices are to ensuring worker rights are protected.

Many brands and retailers are working on improving their purchasing practices. Companies taking action to make progress in this area have requested clarity on what exactly constitutes‘ responsible purchasing practices’ and support towards implementing these practices. In response to this, a group of Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives (MSIs) have developed a Common Framework for Responsible Purchasing Practices.


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