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Author Topic: The Social, Ecological & Environmental Impacts of Cricket Bat Production  (Read 3598 times)

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billyb

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Surely there must be some scope for debate here?
Merely to start things off-

Social: The working conditions in many factories, that is not to say all, in India/Pakistan are far from any sort of acceptable standard that we see over here at GM for example. Whilst we see bats produced in documentaries on Youtube in pretty poor conditions, though perhaps at a relative standard for an Newly Industrialised Country/Less Economically Developed Country, it is the production of Soft goods that should be the most revealing, particularly that of the lower end pads etc. In an age of Ethical Shopping, is this really acceptable? If it were sweatshop produced clothes, would you still buy it? Is there a solution or are we powerless here in the UK due to the domestic market in India, and the brand leaders trying to maximise profitability?

In fact: Do British Brands, and cricketers, actually care how and where their gear is being produced?

There is serious scope for investigation there, it would be fascinating to somehow film what really goes on inside some of those factories. I have a feeling we would be quite surprised.

Ecological: We have heard of this global shortage of mature English Willow trees (hence the rising cost & rarity of G1 willow- surely this will mean a shortfall, and younger trees will be hacked down to make up the numbers? In the UK, this should be able to be done sustainably, but with Willow stocks in other nations, we could see some sort of localised decimation of the species in that area.

Environmentally: If willow is shipped, from JSR Wright, all the way to India to be made, and back again- that will have a serious carbon footprint.

Is there a potential for offsetting this however?


Are cricketers even interested/believe in Global Warming?

This is certainly one ignored aspect of Cricket that should be explored.

Cheers,
Billy B
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Re: The Social, Ecological & Environmental Impacts of Cricket Bat Production
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2013, 03:50:19 PM »

My answers:

1. Most industries in India, Pakistan and China are basically sweatshops. Unfortunately a far too large a percent of what we buy is made in these.
Ethical shoppers will find it hard to source everything and when they do it's extremely expensive.
Every company that outsources abroad can eventually fall foul when ethics is involved, many fall foul when buying from UK producers, undercutting costs until the producer either loses money or says no. In which case the buyers go elsewhere.

2. Some do, some don't. Many don't even consider it.

3. As for filming, may undercover expose's have shown some shocking conditions worldwide. Just look at the latest clothes factory fire.

4. It's good to know that probably all UK willow comes from farms, India is another matter. Decimation looks likely.

5. Even bigger are the ones sent to Oz and NZ then come back here.

6. Extra international shipping charges might work. Less will get shipped and be more expensive. That goes for all commodities, 5 for a Costa coffee anyone  ;)

7. Same percentage as National statistic.
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Tom

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Re: The Social, Ecological & Environmental Impacts of Cricket Bat Production
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2013, 04:53:01 PM »

Are the conditions really that bad? I spent 2 months in an Indian factory, on various floors from office through to soft and bat production and felt the workers were never treated badly. Yes you see things which would drive health and safety in the UK crazy - but it's India and as you say it's all relative. There were regular inspections from Uttar Pradesh government officials, too.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 04:55:11 PM by Tom »
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Vitas Cricket

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Re: The Social, Ecological & Environmental Impacts of Cricket Bat Production
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2013, 08:48:02 PM »

I would say many Indian factories have pushed to raise standards dramatically in recent years. Based on videos of Pakistani factories I've seen, they haven't progressed from glorified cottage industry, and I'm certain when the cameras aren't there the workers won't be as smiley.

The point about ethical shopping is moot in the cricket industry based on my experience. There are two sides to my point, a cricket example is balls. Every league we approach to provide balls to opts for a cheap Pakistani produced ball over an ever so slightly more expensive UK made ball, it seems money talks, no matter what the human cost. The other part of my point is with the booming success of Primark etc, clothes for peanuts produced in what I can only imagine are horrendous conditions for workers based on the Bangladeshi fires, how can a niche sport/industry like cricket be ethical when major corporations are not?

I think most people like to think and make out they care, but as I said, money talks.

It's impossible to compare whether shipping willow to India and back or making all bats in the UK would have a bigger environmental impact. Suddenly moving all production back to the UK would result in a massive carbon footprint too. Some factories will go down the GM/Newbery route and make their bats with a CNC machine, which I imagine will consume a lot of electricity. The other option is to massively expand premise size and hire more bodies to make all the bats. You've got to heat all that extra space through the winter, and all the extra people will be driving to work and back. Is it a bigger carbon footprint than a load of containers on a ship that is going to India anyway? That's up for debate.

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Re: The Social, Ecological & Environmental Impacts of Cricket Bat Production
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2013, 09:18:54 PM »

I would say many Indian factories have pushed to raise standards dramatically in recent years. Based on videos of Pakistani factories I've seen, they haven't progressed from glorified cottage industry, and I'm certain when the cameras aren't there the workers won't be as smiley.

The point about ethical shopping is moot in the cricket industry based on my experience. There are two sides to my point, a cricket example is balls. Every league we approach to provide balls to opts for a cheap Pakistani produced ball over an ever so slightly more expensive UK made ball, it seems money talks, no matter what the human cost. The other part of my point is with the booming success of Primark etc, clothes for peanuts produced in what I can only imagine are horrendous conditions for workers based on the Bangladeshi fires, how can a niche sport/industry like cricket be ethical when major corporations are not?

I think most people like to think and make out they care, but as I said, money talks.

It's impossible to compare whether shipping willow to India and back or making all bats in the UK would have a bigger environmental impact. Suddenly moving all production back to the UK would result in a massive carbon footprint too. Some factories will go down the GM/Newbery route and make their bats with a CNC machine, which I imagine will consume a lot of electricity. The other option is to massively expand premise size and hire more bodies to make all the bats. You've got to heat all that extra space through the winter, and all the extra people will be driving to work and back. Is it a bigger carbon footprint than a load of containers on a ship that is going to India anyway? That's up for debate.

Money talks, simple as.

Just look at the amount of posts here with people wanting things 'cheap' or when people selling (eBay etc) prices,being sometimes quite un realistically high as it's 'worth it' and they don't want to lose too much money.

It's easy to be ethical in our country but we all want the best things as cheap as possible. Now, what you could ask is why do companies charge so much when things cost a lot less?? Profit :)
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