Sports Goods Foundation of India (SGFI): A Collective Response to CSR Issues
The SGFI case deals with the collective response of the Jalandhar (India) inflatable ball manufacturers and exporters to the issue of child labour used in the production of inflatable balls. During the 1998 football World Cup, media coverage of the child labour usage in football manufacture led to a boycott of the inflatable balls exported from India and Pakistan.
In response, Pakistan signed the Atlanta Agreement, under which different stakeholders came together to set up a monitoring mechanism. On similar lines, the manufacturers of Jalandhar established the Sports Good Foundation of India (SGFI) to assist in monitoring of child labor among the SGFI members.
SGFI was funded by FIFA from 1999 to 2003 on the explicit understanding that the external monitoring would be done by an internationally reputed agency like SGS. SGFI hired SGS to do the monitoring of the production of inflatable balls for export in Jalandhar.
In 2004, UNIDO stepped in to launch its cluster development programme through SGFI. Under this programme, SGFI expanded its activities and enhanced its role to enter other CSR areas. When UNIDO intervention and funding came to an end in 2008, the SGFI members decided to contribute a proportion of their export revenues towards SGFI activities. While SGFI is critical to monitoring the production process and investigating and countering child labour accusations, it is not clear if the expanded activities of SGFI are directly relevant to the business interests of its members.
Keywords: CSR, SGFI, Collective response, International pressure, International agencies