Hubert Schmitz GmbH with its brand S-GARD joined FWF in January 2016.
S-GARD Performance Check 2017
S-Gard has met most of FWF’s performance requirements. With a monitoring percentage of 93%, it goes well beyond the required monitoring threshold of 40% for the first year of FWF membership. This, in combination with a score of 64 points, means that S-Gard is awarded the ‘Good’-category.
In its first year of membership, S-Gard has made significant progress in implementing FWF requirements. Despite significant growth, the brand has maintained a stable supplier base and has been working with most suppliers for a long period of time. S-Gard is the only customer at its four Tunisian suppliers, which gives them significant leverage to improve working conditions. The brand also has production at two Polish suppliers. If S-Gard lacks production capacity, it arranges production at a Lithuanian supplier. For promotional wear, S-Gard has set up a cooperation with a German intermediary that engages production at a factory in Turkey. In 2016, its four Tunisian suppliers were audited and active follow up was made to the Corrective Action Plan. SGard also fulfilled the requirements for low-risk countries.
S-Gard started production with a German intermediary that introduced S-Gard production at a factory in Turkey. At the start of the relationship, the intermediary was not willing to disclose the production location. The brand invested considerable time and effort to discuss its motivation to learn more about the production location and FWF requirements. After some time, the German intermediary was willing to disclose its Turkish production location.
The brand has strong systems in place to plan production with its Tunisian and Polish suppliers. Furthermore, it has a pricing policy where it knows the total production costs of its Tunisian suppliers. The prices cover these costs, including wages. No legal minimum wage issues were found at these suppliers. With its Turkish and Lithuanian suppliers, production is planned more on an ad-hoc basis. In its pricing policy for the Polish, Lithuanian and Turkish suppliers, it has not yet related wage levels to prices.
To make management and workers more aware of the FWF Code of Labour Practices and the worker helpline, S-Gard organised training sessions at its Tunisian suppliers.
FWF recommends S-Gard to continue discussions with its German intermediary about the Turkish supplier. The aim of the discussions should be to monitor the supplier by means of an audit. Furthermore, FWF recommends S-Gard should learn more about production planning and pricing at suppliers where strong systems are not yet in place. Setting up a systematic approach to analyse country risks and relating that to suppliers should assist S-Gard in preventing and mitigating such risks.
Score: 64 Percentage under monitoring: 93% Category: Good