As a Global Partner, VF will increase collaboration with Better Work through enhanced training and assessments on critical supply chain issues

As a Global Partner, VF will increase collaboration with Better Work through enhanced training and assessments on critical supply chain issues

VF Corporation is advancing its engagement with Better Work by strengthening its partnership status to Global Partner as part of its ongoing commitment to human rights and improving worker well-being throughout its global supply chain.

Better Work is a collaboration between the UN's International Labor Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, that brings together all levels of the garment industry to improve working conditions, respect labour rights for workers, and improve the competitiveness of the industry. 

As one of 40 Global Partners in the Better Work programme, VF-authorised contract facilities will go through in-depth training and assessments on material issues that can impact apparel supply chains such as child labour, discrimination, forced labour, freedom of association, and occupational health and safety.

The programme will run in supplier factories located in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Haiti, Indonesia, Jordan, Nicaragua, and Vietnam, where working conditions and improvements will be assessed at each location. If issues arise, VF, Better Work, and the factory, including workers, will collaborate on effective remediation solutions that directly impact and improve factory workers' lives.

The programme will also implement Better Work's two-fold strategy to promote compliance with national law and international core labour standards.

"Our partnership with Better Work is another demonstration of our deep commitment to managing an ethical, responsible, and sustainable supply chain that puts people at the centre," says Peter Higgins, VF's vice president global responsible sourcing. "I'm confident this strengthened partnership will do even more to support the advancement of key human rights priorities, including those focused on freedom of association, gender-based violence and workplace harassment."

VF's strengthened partnership with Better Work builds on the prior success of VF's 2018 Industrial Relations Leadership pilot programme with Better Factories Cambodia. The pilot successfully enhanced collaboration and communication at VF's strategic factories while building capacity for worker representatives and management, as well as delivering a positive impact on workplace issues, especially industrial relations. The pilot was expanded to include two more factories in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Announced on International Workers' Day (29 April), the move comes as part of VF's goal to improve the lives of 1m people by 2025 through enhanced worker well-being programmes.