Now we have already discussed some of Apple's problems yet I hadn't previously picked up their child labour problems. Children as under the age of 16 working on our precious Apple toys. To Apple's credit they uncovered the problem. The trail is complicated as it was Apple's supplier's supplier was at fault; a third tier supplier of labour to a factory (p.18). Shenzhen Quanshun Human Resource:
"conspired with families to forge age verification documents and make the workers seem older than they were."A big plus for Apple picking this up but I wonder how long it had been going on and what corrective steps have been taken to protect against this in the future? I also wonder how many other firms would have picked this up - we recently discussed weaknesses in food supply chain vigilance. The decision to stop using the factory may have only added to the hardship of the families involved and shifted the problem, while using Apple's infamous creativity may have set the standard for others.
Yesterday I raised issues regarding British Gas approach to responsible procurement - a disappointing start to 2013.