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Ford South America

Supply Chain

The automotive supply chain is one of the most complicated of any industry. Automakers like us rely on thousands of suppliers to provide the materials, parts and services necessary to make our final products. In today’s economic environment, achieving lower costs, improving quality and meeting sustainability goals require an unprecedented level of cooperation with suppliers, as well as strong supplier relationships. Ford and our suppliers must work jointly to deliver great products, have a strong business and build a better world.

The basis of our work with suppliers is the Ford Code of Human Rights, Basic Working Conditions and Corporate Responsibility, which applies to our own operations as well as our $100 billion supply chain. The Code addresses workplace issues such as working hours, child labor and forced labor, as well as nondiscrimination, freedom of association, health and safety, the environment and other issues.

We work to ensure that Ford and our suppliers have management systems in place to mitigate potential risks, ensure continuity of supply and improve the overall sustainability of the complex global automotive supply chain. Our aim is to leverage our supply chain – and our industry – to make a positive impact in the markets in which we do business.

We take a three-pronged approach to creating a sustainable supply chain and managing sustainability issues throughout our supply chain:

  • Building strong relationships with suppliers and engaging strategic suppliers
  • Developing shared commitment and supplier capability
  • Working on cross-industry initiatives

In 2013, we held joint industry trainings through the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) in Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and Turkey. We also held trainings in Romania in conjunction with CSR Europe. These trainings included both in-person classroom training sessions and e-learning trainings. More than 230 Ford suppliers attended the classroom sessions.

To date, we have conducted approximately 145 training sessions globally, attended by nearly 2,100 supplier companies. (This figure includes dedicated Ford supplier training sessions conducted with the AIAG as well as industry training sessions in which Ford participated along with the AIAG and other automakers.) Because attendees are required to subsequently cascade the training and expectations to the entire factory population and suppliers, these trainings indirectly reach even more companies and individuals. Through this cascading process, the training of suppliers globally since the inception of the program has impacted more than 2,900 supplier representatives, who in turn have cascaded the training information to nearly 25,000 supplier managers and more than 485,000 individual workers as well as over 100,000 sub-tier supplier companies.

Suppliers trained in 2013 have now moved on to the process of self-assessing their facilities for compliance with local law and Ford expectations, as well as communicating expectations to their own workers and their suppliers.

In 2014 we plan to conduct additional supplier training sessions in conjunction with either the AIAG or CSR in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, Russia and Turkey. Where possible, these courses will be open to any interested company; thus Tier 1 suppliers will have the option of asking their own suppliers to attend. The intent is, once again, to increase the scope of impact of the training sessions and push human rights and working conditions expectations further down the supply chain.

For a discussion of our global commitment to supply chain sustainability and detail on the status of our working conditions assessments, please see the Supply Chain section.

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