Safety, Performance and Overall Quality is our Business
The Quality Assurance mission is to manage programs to protect customers, company assets and to allow only first quality merchandise into The Exchange supply chain.
Products should be suitable for use and "right the first time".
Our programs consist of:
- Product Testing & Analysis
- Regulatory Oversight
- Food and Drug Safety
Our comprehensive programs and protocols are founded on and derived from government regulations and industry standards which allow us to provide a high-level of consumer protection.
The Exchange defines quality in terms of "fitness for use", i.e., if an item is not fit for intended use, then it is not a quality item. Anything that adversely affects appearance, serviceability, or salability of an item is considered a defect.
POLICY OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY & LABOR STANDARDS FOR PRIVATE LABEL AND DIRECT IMPORT MERCHANDISE
The Army & Air Force Exchange Service (The Exchange), Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM) and Marine Corps Exchange (MCX) have a very rich and proud heritage of serving the men and women of the uniformed services and their families. Our mission is global; we are citizens of many worldwide communities, supported by a very diverse workforce. Our endeavor is deeply rooted in the tenets of integrity, accountability and compassion, which are embodied in our core values. Consistent with those values, the Exchanges require their suppliers and / or manufacturers of private label merchandise, or manufacturers of merchandise imported directly by us, to assess their practices, as well as those of their subcontractors, for compliance with these Social Responsibility and Labor Standards.
Each exchange shall each implement a program that assures that the private label or direct imported merchandise is not produced by child or forced labor. This program shall be based on the Standards of Social Responsibility and Labor Standards outlined below.
The exchanges shall continue to expect that all brand name merchandise suppliers comply with all applicable federal or international laws and regulates concerning Social Responsibility and Labor Standards, and shall take appropriate contractual or action if this expectation is not met.
Child Labor – Supplier shall comply with the child labor laws of the country where the production facility is located. In cases where there are no local laws governing child labor, no person under the age of 14 years shall be employed.
Forced Labor – Suppliers shall not use forced or other compulsory labor in the manufacture of products intended for AAFES. Suppliers shall not require employees to lodge “deposits” or identity papers upon commencing employment with the company.
Working Hours – Suppliers shall comply with applicable local laws on working hours.
Compensation and Benefits – Suppliers shall ensure that wages paid for a standard work week are consistent with local and national laws.
Disciplinary Practice – Suppliers shall not engage in or support the use of corporal punishment, mental of physical coercion, and verbal abuse.
Freedom of Association & Right to Collective Bargaining – Suppliers shall respect the right of all employees to form and join trade unions of their choice, consistent with prevailing local / national law and to bargain collectively nor enter into any activity that impedes or suppresses freedom of association. Suppliers shall ensure that representatives of such employees are not subject to discrimination and that such representatives have access to their membership, or political affiliation.
Discrimination – Suppliers shall be consistent with local laws regarding discrimination in hiring, compensation, access to training, promotion, termination or retirement based on race, caste, national origin, religion disability, gender sexual orientation, maternity status, union membership, or political affiliation.
Safe and Healthy Workplace – Supplier shall provide their employees with a safe and health workplace in compliance with local laws.
A copy of these standards, translated in the language(s) of the workers shall be posted in a location, visible to all employees at all production facilities that manufacture goods and merchandise for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service.
Any person(s) having knowledge of any violation of these standards are encouraged to contact:
Attn: Director, Quality Assurance
3911 S. Walton Walker Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75236, U. S. A.
Factories that manufacture private label or direct imported merchandise must comply with the Exchange's policy of Social Responsibility and Labor Standards. If acceptable evidence cannot be provided to AAFES to exempt the factory, a social audit must be conducted before the merchandise is manufactured for AAFES.
In order for the Exchange to exempt a factory from an Exchange social audit they must be able to provide evidence that they have one of the below certificates, belong to one of the below social responsibility programs or have successfully passed a social responsibility audit from a large well-known US retailer or brand-name company. Evidence from a large US retail company would be a copy of the social audit or a cover sheet with the company's letter head stating the factory was acceptable for social compliance.
The social audit must be current (within the last year) and cover the areas of child labor, forced labor, working hours, compensation / benefits, disciplinary practices, free association, discrimination, health & safety, environmental requirements and communication and record keeping verifying that the factory complies with the national and local laws.
a. Social Responsibility Certification Programs
- Amana Ltd. (Link Label)
- SA-8000, Social Accountability International
- WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production) run by American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA)
b. Social Responsibility Programs
- Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC)
- Fair Labor Association (FLA)
- Fair Wear Foundation (FWF)
The programs listed above are not all inclusive; there may be other reputable organizations that also administer similar programs for various categories of merchandise.
To verify compliance to Social Responsibility suppliers must submit a current, acceptable Social Responsibility Compliance Audit or Certification to the Exchange QA office. Email the required documents to all of the following individuals: the applicable Exchange Buyer, Terry Grissom firstname.lastname@example.org and Manoj Parikh email@example.com. Documents submitted without the required information will delay the factory exemption process. Guidelines for document submission are as follows:
ALL DOCUMENTS MUST:
- BE IN ENGLISH AND BE LEGIBLE
- BE CURRENT (NOT OLDER THAN 1 YR OLD)
- BE ACCEPTABLE (NO MAJOR VIOLATIONS)
- AUDITS WITH VIOLATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED WITH A COMPLETED CORRECTIVE ACTION PLAN (CAP)
ADDITIONAL REQUIRED INFORMATION:
- PRODUCT CATEGORY / ITEM
- BUYER NAME
- VENDOR NAME
- VENDOR REPRESENTATIVE NAME (IF APPLICABLE)
- VENDOR CODE
- FACTORY NAME
- FACTORY ADDRESS
- FACTORY POINT OF CONTACT
- PHONE NUMBER
Note: A completed CAP must be issued by an audit firm and not the supplier or factory personnel. Photos and or additional documents may be submitted with the CAP to substantiate corrective actions.
For questions contact:
Attn: Terry Grissom