Read the following article and use the Internet search engine to write a report on your findings for the tasks 1 to 4 below.
“ASIA ACCIDENTS HELP DRIVE UP FACTORY AUDITS Reuters
By Kathy Chu
Deadly factory incidents in Asia are forcing more Western brands to rethink their search for low production prices.
A woman worked at a Babylon Garments factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Jan. 3. Recent accidents have forced Western brands to rethink a business model that relies on low production costs.
According to new research, factory audits in Asia rose 61% in 2013 from a year earlier, a sign that more brands are investing in monitoring their supply chain, according to SebastienBreteau, chief executive of AsiaInspection, a Hong Kong-based firm that provides auditing and product-testing services.
The research comes two months after fast-fashion brand Hennes&Mauritz AB introduced a plan to ensure that workers making its clothing in Bangladesh and Cambodia are paid wages that cover their cost of living.?Li & Fung, the buying agent for major Western brands including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. , also recently said it is seeing less of a push from retailers to lower their costs.
“On the global sourcing front, we have witnessed the price deflation trend becoming more subdued this year,” Li & Fung said in its 2013 interim report. “With the tragedies
inBangladesh, the apparel industry placed a stronger focus on workers’ safety, vendor compliance, quality control and sustainability among industry players.”?In 2013, audits have more than doubled in India, while audits rose 58% in China and 47% in Bangladesh, according to AsiaInspection. More retailers were already conducting audits in Bangladesh, explaining why audits grew slower in the country compared with other locations, AsiaInspection said.
Low production costs have long been the key goal for major brands, which say they want to pass savings onto consumers. Rising wages in China and elsewhere in Asia sent companies from leather-goods maker Coach Inc. to clog-maker Crocs Inc. and Japan’s casual-clothing chain Uniqlo, operated by Fast Retailing Co. , hopscotching to other countries to diversify their manufacturing bases and cut costs.
This week brought yet another factory tragedy, when a fire at a China shoe factory killed 16 workers. On Wednesday, authorities detained the owners of TaizhouDadong Shoes Co. in the eastern Chinese city of Wenling, according to local officials. Company officials couldn’t be reached for comment. On websites for Chinese vendors, the company lists itself as an exporter. It wasn’t clear whether it sells the shoes itself or makes them on behalf of other companies.
Factory tragedies have grabbed headlines in the past year or so. In Bangladesh, a factory fire at Tazreen Fashions Ltd. killed more than 100 workers in late 2012 while the collapse of the Rana Plaza building last spring killed more than 1,100.?Now, more retailers are paying attention to how the drive for lower costs could affect worker safety.
“It is a milestone year” for retailers, said Mr. Breteau. While major companies remain “reluctant, they’re accepting more and more of an increase” in prices from factories. Factory safety agreements that followed the Bangladesh disasters suggest retailers and brands are trying to strike a balance between cost and safety.
More than 100 apparel companies including Esprit Holdings, Fast Retailing and Zara parent Inditex SA signed a five-year, legally binding Bangladesh safety agreement. Under the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, participating companies commit to paying for necessary factory repairs and renovations. They also say they won’t hire manufacturers whose factories fail to meet safety standards.
Meanwhile, an apparel trade group representing companies including H&M, Inditex and Italy’s Benetton SpA published a list of the more than 1,500 factories the brands use in Bangladesh.
H&M is also polling workers and managers at factories in Bangladesh and Cambodia to determine how much wages need to be raised.?”Textile workers should be able to live on their wage,” Helena Helmersson, global head of sustainability at H&M, said in November.
A Uniqlo spokesman said the company also has a workplace-monitoring program to make sure factories offer “fair and proper working conditions” for employees, including wages.?Still, improving factory conditions remains an uphill struggle, consultants and workers- rights groups say.
Despite the increase in factory audits, only about 20% to 25% of AsiaInspection’s clients are conducting them.?”It costs money…and it doesn’t generate direct revenue,” said Mr. Breteau.?The majority of Western companies still insist on low prices and tight deadlines, which could force factories to cut corners, according to Geoffrey Crothall, spokesman for China Labour Bulletin, a worker-advocacy group.
Some workers groups also question the value of third-party audits.?”They are basically a waste of time,” said Mr. Crothall. “Factories are well adept at hiding the worst abuses of labor rights and in coaching workers to give the correct answers.”?Local governments should bear responsibility for ensuring that factories and retailers are complying with laws on wages and safety, Mr. Crothall said.”
1. Why the European countries are not the preferred countries for large scale manufacturing of fashion brands. Search from different article(s)
2.Search the contents of the signed five-year, legally binding Bangladesh safety agreement.
The case report should have the following structure:
•?Include references like URL and article citations at least 5 on where you get ?your source(s) of information to write the case report, NO PLAGIARISM ACCEPTED.
•?Page number on every page except the title page
•?Document format – Font type: Times New Roman, Font size: 12, Margin: ?Top/Bottom, Left/Right 2.54 cm, Paragraph line spacing: 1.5 line.
•?Number of written pages: 4
•?References (at least 5 references; use APA style format)
•?Put a proper header that addresses each requirement above.
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