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Accreditation of two social compliance programs

Footwear Supplier Pou Chen Group and Outdoor Brand Kathmandu Holdings Achieve FLA Accreditation

The Fair Labor Association (FLA), a collaborative effort among brands, universities and civil society organizations to improve working conditions and protect workers’ rights, announced today that New Zealand outdoor gear brand Kathmandu Holdings and Pou Chen Group – a leading footwear manufacturer in Taiwan – have received accreditation for their social compliance programs. Each company was recognized for advancements in their social compliance programs that work to uphold fair labor standards in their supply chains.

“It is important that businesses recognize their responsibility to protect workers in their supply chains,” said FLA President and CEO Sharon Waxman. “By going through FLA’s accreditation process, Pou Chen Group and Kathmandu Holdings have demonstrated that their social compliance programs are equally important with other aspects of their businesses.”

The FLA’s accreditation program is the gold standard for a systems-level approach to human rights compliance and social responsibility. To achieve accreditation, companies must follow and implement FLA’s “Ten Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing or Production.” The FLA is the only organization of its kind in which brands and suppliers commit to a process that demands regular review and assessment of corporate systems that support workers’ rights and social responsibility.

Pou Chen Group and Kathmandu Holdings’ accreditation reports validate each company’s actions to improving conditions for workers – through on-going engagement with union and worker representatives, and collaboration with other brands and civil society to improve factory conditions for workers. Both companies’ top management were also recognized for their commitment to their social compliance program – demonstrated through allocations of human and financial resources.

Among other strengths, the FLA recognizes Pou Chen Group for its transparency in remediating labor violations in its production sites, investment in social compliance training, and its multiple grievance channels.  Kathmandu Holdings has been recognized for its transparent disclosure of its supplier list and FLA-conducted factory assessment reports on the Kathmandu website, and for collaboration with civil society and other outdoor brands to remediate labor violations in production facilities.

These two companies were approved at the FLA’s board meeting in June. Brands and suppliers that successfully complete the initial multi-year evaluation, subject to approval by the FLA Board of Directors, achieve accreditation of their programs, with reaccreditation assessments required regularly thereafter. FLA has accredited a total of 33 brand and supplier social compliance programs.

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