Taking manufacturing to China is all the rage, but recent reports show ‘Made in China’ is now a warning label as product standards are slipping and sweat shop exploitation continues…
Fascia Graphics, the market leader for the production of membrane keypads in the printed graphics industry is warning UK companies that taking manufacturing/sourcing to China could have major ethical and risk management implications on their business. The Chippenham based company leads the way in its approach to ethical business and is a strong supporter of UK manufacturing – with 99.9% of its manufacturing and production UK based.
The company highlights that the race to China has exposed many UK companies to the high risk of being involved in bad-news stories about child labour or poor health and safety/environmental performance as about two-thirds of Chinese factories don’t comply with the country’s strict, but barely enforced labour laws.
Despite a new UK Companies Act coming into force earlier this year putting duties on manufacturers to make sure their supply chains are being run ethically, many are still not complying. The Chippenham based company is one of the few in the industry that has felt little impact of the Act as it already has a stringent policy to vetting its suppliers to ensure that those small number of products which are imported from low-cost economies (LCEs) are not the result of child labour or poor working conditions.
The company also identifies that it is not just an ethical debate, as a recent report identified that product quality is also suspect with 60% of goods recalled by America’s main safety regulator came from China. In July, it was also reported that 19.1% of products made in China for domestic consumption were found to be substandard and among products made by small firms, the failure rate was nearly 30%.
Paul Bennett, Founder and Managing Director of Fascia Graphics commented: “Since we established Fascia Graphics we have always had a stringent policy towards supporting UK manufacturers and suppliers and we tend to only purchase from abroad when it has been stipulated by our customer.”
“It is also important to mention that when we do source from outside the UK we always ensure that child labour isn’t used and working conditions are to an acceptable standard. As a general rule we have found that those overseas factories that do not comply are not good factories; and the quality of the goods are very poor. You normally don’t have one without the other.”
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