No Child Left Behind, July 7, 2020
By now, most actors in the natural stone sector have gotten acquainted with the Initiatief TruStone. In 2019, Flanders and the Netherlands joined forces and founded a multi-stakeholder initiative with a responsible procurement policy for sourcing natural stone from high-risk areas, supported by governments, companies, NGOs and unions. Chain transparency and care is the common thread throughout this story.
In 2005 the Dutch NGO Arisa (operating under the name of India Committee of the Netherlands until 2019) published a not-so-rosy report, which brought to light numerous unethical practices and violations of human rights, casting an unpleasant shadow on the origin of these Indian cobble stones. The report, titled: “Budhpura ‘Ground Zero’ – Sandstone quarrying in India”, turned out the be the starting point for many projects, initiatives and collaborations that, over the years, were founded between governments, NGOs and a number of engaged companies. A long road with many thorny side roads, but not impassable.