Margreet Vrieling @ Switcher compliance day

Every other year, FWF member Switcher invites its suppliers to its Swiss headquarters for a seminar on social and environmental compliance. Last week, during the fourth edition of the ‘Switcher Compliance days’, around 30 factory managers from Europe and Asia gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss social compliance and learn about ways to further improve social standards in their factories. FWF’s verification coordinator Margreet Vrieling was there.

Every other year, FWF member Switcher invites its suppliers to its Swiss headquarters for a seminar on social and environmental compliance. Last week, during the fourth edition of the ‘Switcher Compliance days’, around 30 factory managers from Europe and Asia gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss social compliance and learn about ways to further improve social standards in their factories. FWF’s verification coordinator Margreet Vrieling was there.

Daniele Buonocore, one of the seminar’s organisers, comments on this unique initiative: ‘at the very first seminar, some factory managers may have been a bit reluctant to share information for competitive reasons. But soon – helped along by the fact that they see each other regularly – the suppliers formed a group, aware that they share several common interests. Discussing these together and sharing what they’ve learned now makes perfect sense to them.’

During last week’s seminar, Margreet Vrieling discussed the need to increase wages, leading to a discussion between Switcher and its suppliers on how to arrive at living wage level for those workers who are earning less. Excessive overtime and its link to low wages – workers will accept more overtime if their regular wage doesn’t meet their daily needs – was also discussed.

It was encouraging to see how motivated the suppliers were by the seminar – even the simple conclusion that you’re not the only one struggling with these issues helps to keep working towards better working conditions. Of course such an invitation by your buyer also sends a strong message that the buyer is willing to share the responsibility and facilitate change. That in itself is very stimulating.Every other year, FWF member Switcher invites its suppliers to its Swiss headquarters for a seminar on social and environmental compliance. Last week, during the fourth edition of the ‘Switcher Compliance days’, around 30 factory managers from Europe and Asia gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss social compliance and learn about ways to further improve social standards in their factories. FWF’s verification coordinator Margreet Vrieling was there.

Daniele Buonocore, one of the seminar’s organisers, comments on this unique initiative: ‘at the very first seminar, some factory managers may have been a bit reluctant to share information for competitive reasons. But soon – helped along by the fact that they see each other regularly – the suppliers formed a group, aware that they share several common interests. Discussing these together and sharing what they’ve learned now makes perfect sense to them.’

During last week’s seminar, Margreet Vrieling discussed the need to increase wages, leading to a discussion between Switcher and its suppliers on how to arrive at living wage level for those workers who are earning less. Excessive overtime and its link to low wages – workers will accept more overtime if their regular wage doesn’t meet their daily needs – was also discussed.

It was encouraging to see how motivated the suppliers were by the seminar – even the simple conclusion that you’re not the only one struggling with these issues helps to keep working towards better working conditions. Of course such an invitation by your buyer also sends a strong message that the buyer is willing to share the responsibility and facilitate change. That in itself is very stimulating.

Every other year, FWF member Switcher invites its suppliers to its Swiss headquarters for a seminar on social and environmental compliance. Last week, during the fourth edition of the ‘Switcher Compliance days’, around 30 factory managers from Europe and Asia gathered in Lausanne, Switzerland, to discuss social compliance and learn about ways to further improve social standards in their factories. FWF’s verification coordinator Margreet Vrieling was there.

Daniele Buonocore, one of the seminar’s organisers, comments on this unique initiative: ‘at the very first seminar, some factory managers may have been a bit reluctant to share information for competitive reasons. But soon – helped along by the fact that they see each other regularly – the suppliers formed a group, aware that they share several common interests. Discussing these together and sharing what they’ve learned now makes perfect sense to them.’

During last week’s seminar, Margreet Vrieling discussed the need to increase wages, leading to a discussion between Switcher and its suppliers on how to arrive at living wage level for those workers who are earning less. Excessive overtime and its link to low wages – workers will accept more overtime if their regular wage doesn’t meet their daily needs – was also discussed.

It was encouraging to see how motivated the suppliers were by the seminar – even the simple conclusion that you’re not the only one struggling with these issues helps to keep working towards better working conditions. Of course such an invitation by your buyer also sends a strong message that the buyer is willing to share the responsibility and facilitate change. That in itself is very stimulating.

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