Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) has launched a request for information (RFI) relating to ethical practices of apparel manufacturers. PSPC is requesting feedback from stakeholders on an 8-point approach to ethical procurement, which would require suppliers to certify compliance with a series of ethical practices or restrictions. Some of these are straight-forward, including prohibitions against the use of child labour. However, others are more ambitious including the requirement to pay a “living wage.” Many of the provisions are drawn from codes of conduct used by leading apparel brands and retailers.
The objectives of this consultation are to:
The request for information can be downloaded here. It includes a set of questions for stakeholders (found in Annex A).
The 8 point and the draft certification form contained in Annex B is the central part of the consultation. Companies that currently do business with PSPC and those that are their first-tier sub-contractors should review these provisions carefully.
The Government of Canada, through PSPC, purchases apparel (including uniforms and work wear) for the Canadian Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Parks Canada, Correctional Services Canada, and various other federal departments and agencies. The largest share of the purchases made by PSPC is for the Canadian Forces and the RCMP (and these are the only two entities which have detailed Canadian Content policies).
In recent years, provinces such as Ontario and cities such as Vancouver have adopted initiatives to support ethical procurement of apparel. As of April 1, 2014, information on the country of origin for apparel procured by PSPC has been made public.
The Canadian Apparel Federation will provide comments to the department, and we are interested in hearing from companies that would be directly impacted by these requirements (either as a direct supplier to government or as a first-tier sub-contractor) especially those that have direct experience with ethical sourcing guidelines in other Canadian jurisdictions.
Please contact Bob Kirke, email@example.com; (613) 231-3220, ext. 224.