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VF Corp guarantor for Bangla safety improvement loans
04
Sep '14
VF Corporation, global retailer of iconic garment brands like Wrangler, Lee and Nautica, has taken a big step forward in its commitment to improve safety standards in Bangladesh garment factories.

VF will stand guarantor for $10 million in financing to be extended by International Finance Corporation (IFC) for building upgrades and fire and safety improvements in its vendor factories in Bangladesh.

These funds are part of VF’s overall $17 million commitment to the health and safety of Bangladeshi garment workers.

With the support of IFC, this program provides an innovative solution to facilitate indirect financing support from VF to help improve supplier factory safety. IFC will utilize its in-house expertise on environmental and social standards to support the effort.

The program will also enable IFC to offer loans at a reasonable cost to qualified suppliers who own factories in Bangladesh that produce VF products, helping to accelerate the implementation of needed fire and building safety improvements.

“The safety of the people making our products around the world is imperative,” says Eric Wiseman, CEO at VF Corporation.

“Our program with IFC helps to ensure that our suppliers have access to the necessary capital to complete safety improvement plans”, he informs

Qualifying suppliers will undergo structural, electrical and fire safety assessments under the protocol outlined by the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, of which VF is a member and the funding will be used to implement corrective action plans derived from these assessments.

Individual loans granted to suppliers are expected to range from $100,000 to $1 million and must address one of three applicable performance standards.

According to Serge Devieux, IFC Director for South Asia, employment in the apparel industry has reduced poverty for millions of women in Bangladesh.

He adds, “This financing model, which we think could work well for other buyers and suppliers, will help Bangladesh’s suppliers improve work conditions and strengthen the country’s ability to attract garment manufacturers.” (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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