Submitted by Nike Inc.
NEW YORK, NY - December 3, 2007 - The Fair Factories Clearinghouse (FFC), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting factory compliance through the sharing of factory audit information, today announced that four leading companies are participating in the FFC's Sharing Platform. Levi Strauss & Co., Nike Inc., Nordstrom, and Abercrombie & Fitch have all committed to joining the FFC as "Sharing" members at the launch, scheduled for the first quarter of 2008.
The goal of the FFC is to provide brands and retailers with a scalable technology and organizational platform to facilitate non-competitive collaboration to improve working conditions within the supply chain. Increased collaboration by brands and retailers will reduce audit fatigue and ultimately improve factory compliance on a range of issues including social and environmental standards and security.
"Facilitating collaboration between companies to improve factory conditions is one of the fundamental goals of the FFC," said Kiku Loomis, FFC's Acting Executive Director. "By choosing to participate in the FFC's pioneering Sharing Platform, these new members are helping us to build a community of companies willing to explore the potential for large-scale collaboration. All of our members are eagerly looking forward to the launch."
Michael Kobori, Vice President, Supply Chain Social and Environmental Sustainability at Levi Strauss & Co. said, "Levi Strauss & Co. believes the FFC sharing platform is an excellent tool enabling brands to reduce duplication in factory monitoring, focus brand and factory resources on remediation, and improve factory working conditions."
"Nike believes collaboration between brands in the monitoring and capacity building of contract factories is an essential element in driving positive, systemic change for workers around the world, said, Caitlin Morris, Director Collaboration and Integration at Nike Inc. Compliance, "The FFC's platform as a tool for sharing information is integral to creating the scale required to collaboratively maximize financial and operational efficiency for both brands and manufacturers."
The FFC provides its member companies with a web-based audit management system that allows members to manage their factory compliance programs. The Sharing Platform will create the capability for members to share non-competitive factory compliance information, such as audits, and coordinate on remediation efforts, thereby reducing unnecessary duplication. One of the unique features of the Sharing Platform will allow companies that have their own compliance systems to connect with the FFC's database and participate in sharing activities.
"Nordstrom believes that increased partnership between retailers is an important step toward creating better working conditions for factory workers across the globe and values the FFC's efforts toward this end," said Linda Peffer, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility for Nordstrom, Inc. "The FFC has created a valuable tool which takes the uncertainty out of sharing factory and audit information, and gives brands an organized forum to work together."
Levi Strauss & Co., Nike Inc., Nordstrom, and Abercrombie & Fitch will join FFC's current member roster, which includes the adidas Group, ASICS America, Hudson's Bay Company, L.L. Bean, Macy's Merchandising Group, Mark's Work Wearhouse, Patagonia, the Starbucks Coffee Company, the Timberland Company, VF Corporation, the National Retail Federation and the Retail Council of Canada. The FFC's rapidly growing database currently contains 13,000 factories and over 25,000 audits.
FFC is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of New York in 2005, founded by the National Retail Federation, the Retail Council of Canada, Reebok International Ltd, and World Monitors Inc. The FFC is supported through contributions from retail associations and participating companies and through grants, including funding provided by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Founding members include Macy's Merchandising Group, Hudson's Bay Company, Mark's Work Wearhouse Ltd., Reebok International Ltd. and The Wet Seal. For more information, see: www.fairfactories.org.
NIKE, Inc. based near Beaverton, Oregon, is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly-owned NIKE subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.nikeinc.com.
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