Blog: First Eastern European Fair Wear Auditors Meeting

Audit teams from Bulgaria, Macedonia and Romania gathered in the Bulgarian capital city Sofia last week to join the first ever Eastern European Auditors Meeting. Rosan van Wolveren and Kees Gootjes from FWF’s verification team were present on behalf of FWF. Kees reports.

“Even though FWF has been active with its audit teams in Eastern Europe since the early 2000’s, this was the first time all auditors met FWF staff members from the Amsterdam office and their colleagues in neighbouring countries. This meeting allowed FWF and its audit teams to learn from each other, share experiences and discuss ways in ways which things can be improved.

Living Wage Project

The morning session focused on introductions and sharing knowledge. The most time was spent on presenting the Brand Performance Check methodology that has been implemented the last two years, and showed how the audits performed by the local audit teams fit into the methodology.

After this, the auditors from Macedonia presented the Living Wage project where FWF calculated the cost of increasing wages to a new minimum wage level. Members of the Romanian team presented the work it had been doing to introduce the FWF Workplace Education Program. Finally, the Bulgarian audit team focused on the FWF Code of Labour Practices and what the reality is on the ground for the audit team. These presentations led to a lot of discussions that were continued during lunch.

Brainstorm sessions

The final part of the afternoon session allowed the various documents inspectors, Occupational Health & Safety experts and worker interviewers to meet with each other to identify dilemmas and brainstorm possible solutions. All participants were very enthusiastic in discussions, which resulted in everyone losing track of time. The meeting had to be unceremoniously ended when the office staff had to close up the office.

After a brief sightseeing tour through the historic centre of Sofia, the participants ended the day by dining together. It was a very intense day full of presentations, interaction and knowledge sharing that participants agreed was very enjoyable.”

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