27 February 2024

Events - OECD Forum on De Diligence in the Garment and Footwear sector

Christina Trautmann writes on LinkedIn that Day 2 of the OECD forum on due diligence in the garment and footwear sector was another opportunity to dive into some critical topics and explore various perspectives.

There was an interesting session on the role of certifications in due diligence, with many varied perspectives on auditing and certification. The overall message was that there is a role for audits and certification to support due diligence, but there are a number of activities that the company responsible needs to carry out themselves. Roles and responsibilities between different actors need to be better understood and, a balance needs to be found between national laws and adequate enforcement of those laws; established relationship between a brand and their suppliers; and certifications with a robust assurance process.

Very relevant for leather, deforestation risks associated with leather production were also discussed, with Leather Working Group taking part in the final session of the day. The scene was set well, with a clear explanation of the roles and drivers – Cattle rearing is associated with deforestation due to its role in land use change and its transition for agricultural purposes, while leather is a byproduct of the meat industry and is even further removed from this. As such, many challenges exist in meeting DCF aims or enabling companies to comply with the EU Deforestation Regulation.

These were the key takeaways:

  • there needs to be a focus on communication and helping to improve the understanding of all actors in the value chain
  • there is an opportunity for collaboration and working together to have greater leverage and share learnings
  • there remains a question over who will pay for the traceability and due diligence required, with the need to not lose sight of the purpose behind this effort to stop deforestation

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