Auret van Heerden is the President of the Florida Labor Association
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Auret van Heerden has been the president of the Fair Labor Association (FLA) since 2001. “The FLA is a non-profit collaborative effort of universities, civil society organizations, and businesses. It describes its mission as promoting adherence to international and national labor laws”. (Wikipedia, 2014).
The speech given by Auret van Heerden highlight issues with supply chain such as child labor, human rights abuses and the huge ethical and moral dilemma this presents to us all as consumers and as fellow human beings.
In 1996 President Clinton convened a meeting at the White House which was attended by industry, human rights NGOs, trade unions, the Department of Labor, in which a task force was formed and they spent about three years arguing about who takes how much responsibility in the global supply chain. Companies didn't feel it was their responsibility. They don't own those facilities. They don't employ those workers. They're not legally liable. Everybody else at the table said, "Folks, that doesn't cut it. You have a custodial duty, a duty of care, to make sure that that product gets from wherever to the store in a way that allows us to consume it, without fear of our safety, or without having to sacrifice our conscience to consume that product." So they agreed, "Okay, what we'll do is we agree on a common set of standards, code of conduct. We'll apply that throughout our global supply chain regardless of ownership or control. We'll make it part of the contract."