The American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) invited BGMEA President, Faruque Hassan at its SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY COMMITTEE MEETING held virtually on June 30, 2021. This was the first of its kind invitation from AAFA to BGMEA which signifies the strategic partnership and collaboration between the two organisations.
BGMEA President attended the panel titled “The Impact of COVID on Supply Chains – The Supplier Perspective”.
He discussed minutely about how Bangladesh and its RMG industry is doing in terms of exports and maintaining health protocols in this difficult time of Covid-19.
He raised issues which are pertinent to responsible business practices and socially responsible supply chain, like ethical sourcing and purchasing practices, particularly the worsening trend in import price, which is unjustifiable to the sustainability strides made by the manufacturers.
He also flagged the issue of audit fatigue and the need for unified code of conduct for social audits which will be beneficial for the buyers, manufacturers and workers at large.
Faruque Hassan accentuated the importance of collaborative and strategic partnership between business to business and association to association to make businesses more complementary, resilient and sustainable.
He highlighted the future prospects of the industry and the need for industry up-grading particularly in the area of skills and efficiency enhancement, technological upgrading, and diversification of products (especially non-cotton) and welcomed U.S. investments in these areas.
The virtual conference was attended by, among others, Thea Lee, Deputy under Secretary of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor; Scott Busby, Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor, U.S. Department of State; and Charita Castro, Director for Labor Affairs, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Nate Herman, Senior Vice President, Policy, AAFA hosted the meeting.