March 13, 2012
In our last blog post on February 20 (www.neverstopexploring.com), we stated, “we will seek to find a long-term solution that avoids sourcing down that is a byproduct of force-feeding. While we are not an economic driver of the goose farming industry, we will make our stance on its practices known.” Today, we want to let you know what we’ve done in the past few weeks to further address this issue and gain a deeper knowledge of our down supply chain.
On February 27 we held an all day in-person working session meeting with our primary supplier, Allied Feather and Down to develop potential solutions to this issue. Our next steps include:
• We are creating an Animal-Derived Materials Code of Ethics that we will require Allied Feather & Down to adhere to and implement with the suppliers and farmers in their supply chain.
• We are enhancing the rigor of our supplier’s self-declaration process and instituting a 3rd party audit process to validate our claims and ensure we are meeting this standard. Also, a Risk Assessment Audit will be conducted by the IDFL (International Down and Feather Testing Laboratory) to ensure these standards are firmly in place with a high level of confidence in its accuracy.
• The North Face will visit the suppliers and farms in our down supply chain to evaluate the implementation of our new Animal-Derived Materials Code of Ethics.
The North Face is committed to ensuring the ethical treatment of animals from which we source materials for use in all our products. We do not condone force-feeding geese from which we source down. Our supplier reported that 30% of the down supplied for Fall 2011 product could be a by-product of sources where force-feeding occurs. We are making expedited changes to identify and reduce these sources as early as Fall 2012. The North Face is committed to our goal of completely eliminating down sourced from force fed geese in our products by 2014.
We are confident that our action plan will lead to a more transparent, traceable and ethical supply chain. The North Face is committed to making this change and ensuring we uphold the highest standard of corporate responsibility. We ask for your continued support in this journey.