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FTA Endorses Dutch Garment and Textiles Agreement

The Foreign Trade Association (FTA) is supporting the Dutch Garment and Textiles Agreement.

The European and international commerce business association on Monday signed a “statement of support” for the Dutch Garment and Textiles Agreement, to promote trade values and sustainable supply chains. To date, 55 companies have pledged to the agreement, which includes more than 20 FTA Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) participants.

“The agreement is an important example of how multisector collaboration between business and stakeholders can lead to even more effective and committed improvements in global supply chains,” FTA director general Christian Ewert said. “However, while FTA welcomes such national projects, we believe that these initiatives should not lose sight of the broader EU goal of creating a global approach that provides a common framework and avoids duplication of standards and fragmentation.”

The FTA endorses the Dutch Garment and Textile Agreement parties’ numerous efforts, including supporting members through its Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) and Business Environmental Performance Initiative (BEPI). Both initiatives help improve working conditions and environmental performance in factories worldwide.

Key members and organizations that signed the agreement are working to remodel the garment and textile supply chain in nations such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Turkey. VGT, Modint, Inretail, trade unions FNV and CNV, the Dutch government and various NGOs, including the Dutch Stop Child Labour Coalitions, Four Paws Netherlands, the India Committee of the Netherlands, Solidaridad and UNICEF Nederland, came together to improve working and environmental conditions in each country’s factories.

The agreement’s priority focus areas include protection from discrimination, protection from child labor, protection from forced labor, meaningful dialogue with independent employee representatives, achieving a living wage, safe conditions and a healthier environment for employees, conserving raw materials and creating a circular economy to reduce adverse environmental impact, reducing the amount of chemicals, energy and water used in global supply chains and preventing animal cruelty.