Since 2010, the ICTI Ethical Toy Program Annual Toy Factory Survey has gathered feedback from toy factories around the world.
The survey provides insight into toy manufacturing from a factory perspective and covers all aspects of the ICTI Ethical Toy Program, from compliance challenges to worker demographics, and auditor assessments to buyer recognition.
The survey offers factories a unique opportunity to give anonymous feedback. More than 45% of all factories in the ICTI Ethical Toy Program, from eight countries, participated in this years’ survey.
This years’ results indicate enhanced auditor professionalism and integrity, reduced audit duplication, comparatively lower working hours, and a diversifying factory base.
“I would like to thank all the factories who participated in this years’ survey for sharing their valuable feedback,” commented Carmel Giblin, President & CEO of the ICTI Ethical Toy Program. “The survey findings, and the insight they provide, are key to ensuring we continue to meet factories’ needs. It is fantastic to see so many areas of improvement and we are particularly pleased to see the major improvements in auditor ethics and integrity.”
The leading ethical supply chain program for the global toy industry
It is clear that ICTI Ethical Toy Program Certification is important to toy manufacturers, almost all toy factories surveyed (98%) have customers who recognize the seal. Factories remarked that they viewed ICTI Ethical Toy Program requirements as practical and relevant for the toy industry, whilst being specific and extensive.
One key area of improvement was in factories’ assessment of ICTI Ethical Toy Program accredited auditors. Factories rated auditors highly across the board, with especially high assessments of their levels of professionalism, thoroughness, ethics, and knowledge. The biggest area of improvement was found in perceived auditor ethics.
The survey also charts our continued progress in reducing audit duplication. Results show factories with higher numbers of customers who recognize the ICTI Ethical Toy Program seal, experienced a lower number of audits per year. Reducing audit duplication is one of the founding objectives of the ICTI Ethical Toy Program so it is really positive to see that factories are continuing to realize this core benefit.
Challenges and changes
The survey provides factories with a chance to share the areas of compliance they struggle with the most. Overall, working hours and rest day requirements are ranked as the top two compliance challenges faced by factories, by contrast, wage-related requirements appear to be less of an issue and are ranked at the bottom.
The compliance challenges reported varied by product type and factory location. Concerns over hazardous substances management were particularly prevalent among plastic toy manufacturers. At the country level, working hours appears to be a dominant issue among Vietnamese factories, while to a lesser degree in Indonesia. By contrast, Indonesian factories rank building safety-related requirements and minimum wage compliance as more challenging than their counterparts in China and Vietnam. We will use this feedback to develop training and capability building programs tailored to address these key issues and meet the varying needs of different manufacturers in the program.
Although working hours is ranked as a top challenge faced by factories, survey results indicate that ICTI Ethical Toy Program Certified factories in China report lower working hours – both in peak season and non-peak season – than toy factories not participating in the ICTI Ethical Toy Program and other footwear, electronic, and apparel factories.
Over the years, the factory survey has tracked an increasingly diverse pool of toy manufacturers. In particular, the percentage of electronics manufacturers now in the program has more than doubled in the last two years, along with a growing number of printing, packaging, promotional, and sporting goods manufacturers.
We will use the insights gathered from the factory survey to ensure the ICTI Ethical Toy Program continues to meet factories needs and where necessary to provide further guidance and tailored training programs to address areas of concern.
Cross-industry data provided by ELEVATE