APL Business Ethics

A customer recently questioned us for importing our tissue paper and paper carrier bags from China. The reason is China's poor record on human rights. I have a good deal of sympathy with our customer's concerns. However, we have thought about this issue in advance, as we have been importing from China since we started the original company in 1986. I have made many visits to China since then, and have seen a phenomenal increase in standard of living for most Chinese citizens. This is largely due to export generated wealth. I have been been in and out of 10's of factories over the years, and also seen a bit of the countryside, I could not help coming to the conclusion that the factory folks generally looked a deal deal happier than the country folks, where there is still some grinding poverty.

So for now, APL will stick with freedom, and openess in trade, and as much communication, travel, and sharing of ideas and prosperity, as possible, because ideas follow trade and better standard of living. But APL don't condone abuse of rights, and we should keep up our pressure on our politicians, and pressure organisations, to make sure that China's leaders know in no uncertain terms that they can't get away with abuse for ever, in a country which is becoming increasingly wealthy and voiciferous - primarily through trade.

As ever, I would like to hear your views

Yours, Nick Varlow, Director
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