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Target praised for disclosing Bangladesh suppliers:

Oxfam says it’s a crucial next step towards better conditions for workers
By Motherpedia
Date: August 13 2014
Editor Rating:

Target has published a list of its Bangladesh factory partners, as part of its commitment to ensuring transparency and safe working conditions in its overseas supplier factories.

Target Managing Director Stuart Machin said supply chain transparency was key to Target’s commitment to improving working conditions and safety standards in Bangladesh and other sourcing countries.

“We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone who works for our business, whether directly or indirectly, is safe in their workplace,” Mr Machin said.

“This is also a key concern for our customers, who want to know that the products they purchase from Target are sourced and produced ethically.”

Target was one of the first Australian retailers to sign the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, and also one of the first Australian retailers to publicly commit to publishing details of its factory suppliers.

Target will progressively publish details of factory partners from all sourcing countries, with the process expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

Oxfam Australia said Target’s disclosure today of the locations of its supplier factories in Bangladesh is a crucial step towards better conditions for workers.

“Target joins Kmart and Woolworths in being open and accountable about exactly where its clothes are made,” said Daisy Gardener, Oxfam Australia’s Corporate Accountability and Fair Trade advisor.

“Oxfam’s 20 years of experience researching the clothing industry has found that low wages, long hours of overtime, violation of trade union rights and unsafe conditions remain the norm in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia and India.”

“Target’s disclosure of Bangladesh supplier factory locations will enable researchers, NGOs and civil society groups to independently check workers’ conditions by speaking to workers on site.

“Without releasing information about supplier locations, there is no way to independently check that decent conditions and basic rights are being upheld within factories.”

In December last year, Pacific Brands (Bonds, Berlei) committed to revealing the locations of Bangladesh supplier factories and The Cotton On Group have said it is considering the move.

This year, Woolworths published its supplier list in Bangladesh and in May Kmart went a step further by publishing locations of suppliers in India, Cambodia and Indonesia with China set to follow.

Kmart and Target were the first Australian companies to sign on to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Accord earlier this year, an agreement that mandates independent building inspections, a thorough review of safety standards, and repairs and renovations to unsafe factories.

Ms Gardener said disclosing supplier factory locations went further than their obligations under the Accord.

“Consumers are concerned about wages and conditions for the men and women making their clothes. We urge other Australian retailers by being open about where they source their garments.”

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