Good Corporate Social Practices: A Look at Unilever’s Supply Chain Transparency

The palm oil industry has sometimes been associated with human rights abuses and adverse environmental impacts, including deforestation, soil pollution and erosion, water contamination, and threatening endangered species.  However, meaningful efforts are being made to change that.

On February 16, 2018, Unilever shared information about its suppliers and mills in order to provide greater transparency into its palm oil supply chain.  Though Unilever isn’t the first company to try to provide better visibility into its supply chain, the company is the first to provide such details about its sourcing and production.

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March 2018 Legal NewsBITE: Food and Drink Quarterly

Our colleague, Nicola A. Smith, brings you the most recent edition of our quarterly food and drink sector newsletter for the UK, Legal NewsBITE. The newsletter includes coverage of a recent focus in the UK on meat processing standards and inspections by the Food Standards Agency, which has had a knock on effect on trade customers such as restaurants and pubs. This has highlighted yet again the importance of demonstrating compliance and supply chain mapping in the food and drink sector. Recent delivery difficulties caused by unexpected and severe weather disruptions (with the ‘Beast from the East’ and subsequent mini-Beast from the East bringing unseasonable snow fall to much of the UK) have further underlined and demonstrated the potential reputational impact that can be caused by a third party supplier’s failure to deliver.

The newsletter may be accessed on our website or by clicking the link below:

 

The EU Conflict Minerals Regime

Responsible sourcing is a vital consideration for supply chain professionals, however, sourcing valuable minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas is one of the most challenging supply chain concerns.  Importers of conflict minerals must meet the obligations of EU Regulation 2017/821, the Conflict Minerals Regulation, requiring third-party audits and disclosures about supply chain due diligence.

Our resident conflicts minerals expert, Dynda Thomas, explains what is covered under the Conflict Minerals Regulation, sets forth considerations for importers of certain goods that must comply with regulations on conflict minerals, and discusses what to expect in the coming future.

The article, “The EU conflict minerals regime,” by Dynda Thomas and Simon Garbett can be accessed on LexisNexis here.

Those without a LexisNexis subscription may reach out via email to obtain access to the article.

Account Overdue: What Now? (Part 2)

Where were we…

In our previous post, we discussed alternative account receivable collection mechanisms, export insurance, trade credit insurance, and factoring – detailing the pros and cons of such tools. In this post, we will explore the ever popular letters of credit, time drafts, and finally several other best practices and alternative tools that can be implemented to ensure the efficient collection of debt. Continue Reading

Account Overdue: What Now? (Part 1)

Picture yourself starting a new relationship with a new contact and future distributor in South America. You checked references, as far as that goes, but there are not many companies with experience with your products in the region. Do you take the plunge and hope for the best relying on your arbitration provision or choice of law to recover your losses if things go south?

Manufacturers with global supply chains growing their business internationally run into these types of problems often. They know there are hurdles at every phase of the supply chain, from securing raw materials, dealing with suppliers, transportation and customs, and, of course, local distributors and agents. On top of this logistical complexity, many of these stakeholders, spread out around the world, operate in countries with widely divergent legal systems and traditions.

What could go wrong?

Everything. Continue Reading

Recent Developments in Defense Technology – Restructuring of Acquisition Directorate and Key Nominations 

On February 1, 2018, the Department of Defense formally disestablished the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics and will begin a four-month effort to reorganize its acquisition directorate, as required under recent reform legislation.  Our colleagues from the Defense Public Policy practice, Jack Deschauer and Pablo Carrillo, discuss the key nominations and what is necessary for the reorganization to ensure the U.S. maintains its technological advantage.

The client alert may be accessed here: Recent Developments in Defense Technology – Restructuring of Acquisition Directorate and Key Nominations 

A Problem That Can’t Seem to Get Cracked

Cracked iPhone screens.  The consequence of the finger slipping, circus-like juggling, slow motion crashing down of the one device that keeps you connected like none other to the digital world.

Apple has been trying to find a solution to this literal kink in the armor of the world’s most popular smartphone since its release close to 10 years ago.  Yet, poor supplier relationship practices has kept Apple from cracking this problem. Continue Reading

Federal Contractors Beware: Don’t Get Caught With Your Pants Down

A written federal Contractor Code of Business Ethics and Conduct and company business ethics awareness and compliance program makes more business sense now than it ever has.

It is no secret that workplace non-consensual sexual misconduct was a hot topic this year.  In many circumstances, the alleged misconduct happened in the workplace calling into question the employees’ workplace culture, policies, and compliance programs that allowed such behavior to go unchecked and unreported.  The companies that ignore the misconduct may never recover.  However, negative repercussions and scrutiny are preventable.  What these companies likely overlooked was the value of an internal ethics policy and compliance program that could have promoted a culture of ethical conduct and individual responsibility among all employees.

Why is this relevant to you as a federal contractor?  Continue Reading

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