2014: Looking Back & Looking Ahead

| Jan 31, 2014 | BY rjowell

In developed societies, humanity excels at a steady pace. Consequently, human rights have become an essential component of both local and global supply chains. Biologically and chemically “clean” goods now also have to be created from other “clean” factors.

Rewinding back 15 years ago in Vietnam when garment factories did not have to comply with any guidelines on social responsibility, weekends were as well considered as working days while fire risks and safety risks existed persistently without any monitoring concerns. Workers kept breaking their back by the sewing machines throughout lunchbreaks because there was no difference in piece rate salary between regular hours and overtime.

Then came along a few social responsibility audits. Factories got confused facing long reports and strange requirements from each client. They had to apply these standards on an old manufacturing platform of the 1980s and 1990s.

Since late 2017, when the US government approved the status of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with Vietnam, foreign-invested garment factories have been blooming across this S-shaped country, including the regions Central Highlands and Central Coast. Consequently, requirements regarding compensations, health & safety, environment, and supply chain security have become familiar to investors right from the first steps of designing and building their factories. However, each importer from US and EU has their own versions of a guideline, leading to controversy in the process of Assessment – Corrective actions – Preventive actions. Every client has unique requirements, alongside the already-controversial elements by the local law of Vietnam.

Two events occurred over the last decade that helped in addressing this issue.  First, was WRAP setting foot in Vietnam in 2010, and secondly was the ratification of a new set of labor laws in 2012 to replace those passed a decade prior. WRAP certificates are recognized by many clients in the Americas and European Union, and a WRAP audit became an approved substitute for individual reviews of each client’s guideline.

Nowadays, there have been more than 260+ brands, retailers, agents, and sourcing offices around the world willing to do business with facilities certified by WRAP. WRAP certificates have been granted for over 420+ facilities in Vietnam, and 2,781 facilities all over the globe. To achieve this, WRAP has developed a set of standards which effectively reconciles international laws with the C-TPAT program and requirements for the facility’s responsibility monitoring system.

WRAP certificate has become a key for enterprises to open the door to the global market. And I am proud to be part of WRAP. We are the keepers awaiting a chance to give this key to those who could comply with our principles.

The world is waiting for you.

Where’s your key?