In February of 2018, after years of being an ‘affiliate’ brand, Volcom was officially voted in by the Fair Labor Association (FLA) as an accredited ‘member;’ an achievement Volcom has had its sights set on since 2014. It’s a badge that sets the brand apart and recognizes the commitment and diligence that has been put into their social compliance program over the last twelve years.
Companies like Volcom that join the FLA commit to ten Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing (and/or Production) and agree to uphold the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct in their supply chain. The Code of Conduct is based on International Labor Organization (ILO) standards and seeks to protect the workers who manufacture a company’s goods. Brands can sign on as affiliates, but it takes years of implementation to bring their supply chains into compliance with the FLA’s expectations to become and accredited member.
The standards aim to achieve decent and humane working conditions in global supply chains and address important subjects like nondiscrimination, forced labor, child labor, compensation, hours of work, and more.
In 2014, as a first step, Volcom became an FLA ‘affiliate’ noting that “The FLA provided Workplace Code of Conduct and Compliance Benchmarks that helped Volcom achieve the goal of making sure workers were not only receiving wages for basic needs and training for promotions to improve their lives, but also to be treated with dignity and respect.”
During its implementation period, the P.A.S.S. team at Volcom (Product and Social Safety) worked with FLA to:
- Adopt and communicate workplace standards
- Train staff to assess and remediate noncompliance issues
- Conduct internal assessments of facilities
- Provide workers with confidential reporting channels
After a trip to Washington, DC in February for the FLA vote, it was confirmed that Volcom’s efforts had been rewarded.
“We’re honored and proud, said Big Tony Alvarez, Volcom’s VP of Global Supply Chain and the head of its compliance program. “It’s been a learning process and a challenge, but a continuously positive one. It’s been a real partnership between our suppliers, the FLA, and our teams internally. We’re so stoked for this achievement and it’s a win for all involved.”
Volcom’s compliance program, referred to now as P.A.S.S., began in 2006 with the implementation of their first Code of Conduct and has steadily developed and matured ever since. Volcom’s P.A.S.S. team is built on the FLA’s shared belief that “The products we buy should not come at the cost of workers’ rights.” Their membership recognition reinforces that belief.
Volcom’s accreditation will be up for renewal every three years following a satisfactory FLA evaluation of labor compliance systems and activities during the timeframe.