Yesterday Tesco’s hosted our largest FNET All members day. It was a fun mixture of presentations, interactive workshops and networking with attendees from a range of job roles including procurement, HR, ethical trade, sustainability and technical functions. Our opening panel focussed on how to pivot from risk to action on human rights due diligence. Rainforest Alliance shared how they have shifted their approach to Assess and Address, developed new worker engagement tools to ‘Expose it, Resolve it, End it’ and using practical examples how the HREDD support programme helps mitigate and remediate human rights abuses. This included Rainforest Alliance and Ergon Associates new report on how to improve Grievance Mechanisms. Twenty Fifty shared some key learnings from their Human Rights work on what is enabling action – broader full value chain approach, senior leader engagement, embedding in procurement, prioritising where to focus and using the data insights to inform due diligence. Princes and Pilgrim UK both shared insights into their recent Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIA) and how these are informing their broader Human Rights strategy. What was interesting was the alignment in common themes between the presentations and subsequent discussions; Grievances, Procurement practices, Human rights issues beyond core labour rights and in goods/services not for resale.
Next we ran a Skills carousel focusing on some of the roadblocks that stop businesses being able to advance human rights in their business with loads of top tips from members on what works and what doesn’t. These included managing PR issues, stakeholder mapping and management, engaging leadership teams and suppliers.
Each of the 5 workstreams (Raw materials & services; Developing common due diligence tools; responsible recruitment; Empowering work; and Climate change and human rights) also provided an elevator pitch on their work to date in Quarter 1 and workplan for the year to help signpost new resources and opportunities for members to get more involved in practical workshops.
The afternoon focussed on member input into 2024-2027 strategy development with lots of participatory exercises to tease out the challenges and member views for the board to work on the strategy over the summer.
We have already had some great feedback on how much members enjoyed the networking, the experience of being in a safe space to share their concerns with customers and peers, and the practical tips they picked up from others that they are going to apply to their business.
Thanks to all the speakers and participants for such an inspiring day and giving the FNET team such rich content act on!