A consortium involving major Bangladeshi and international partners is to build and finance a training course on collaborative sourcing aimed at apparel buyers and suppliers.

The International Apparel Federation (IAF) will have a key role to play in developing the course, which was announced last week by Lilianne Ploumen, the Dutch Minister of Trade and Development, at a conference on Sustainable Sourcing in the Garment Sector (SSGS) in Dhaka.

The conference, organised by the Embassy of Netherlands in Dhaka in collaboration with the IAF and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), identified knowledge as a key component in creating more sustainable sourcing practices.

More specifically, management at both buying and manufacturing firms require more knowledge on setting up collaborative sourcing arrangements.

Where improvements in labour and environmental conditions also require systemic change, working on the foundations of the system through education is another proven strategy.

The course will also serve as a pilot and a benchmark for similar training courses to be developed in the apparel industries of other key sourcing countries.

As reported on just-style yesterday (6 October), the Dutch trade minister told the conference she was highly critical of buyers' unreasonably short delivery deadlines, regular late cancellation of orders, lack of transparency and lack of trust. Producers and brands need to work together much more effectively, she argued. 

Sustainable sourcing the way forward in Bangladesh