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It is thanks to our close collaboration with Jack Wolfskin and Vaude, that we won the Fair Wear Foundation Best Practice Award. Together, we developed a detailed training programme for workers at the three factories we work with in Myanmar.

The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has granted its 2016 Best Practice Award to a joint project executed by SALEWA in cooperation with Jack Wolfskin and Vaude. SALEWA received its Best Practice Award at the FWF multi stakeholder yearly conference.

The three outdoor brands put together a training programme for the improvement of working conditions and active communication between workers, management and local stakeholders in Myanmar. The Fair Wear Foundation has honoured us all for our efforts in promoting better, safer and fairer working conditions in our partner factories.

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Planning for the scheme began in mid-2015 and the training took place in November 2015 at the factories. At the time, FWF did not have any offices in Myanmar, which meant the resources usually offered to members were not available. There were neither guidelines on the country and its legal framework (what is known as a “FWF Country Study”), nor local training staff, audit teams, or an operational complaints hotline. At SALEWA, we took it upon ourselves to fill this void. Essential steps in the process included finding a local partner to implement the training, carrying out extensive research into the current legal system in Myanmar, setting up a complaints hotline and most importantly, establishing the foundations for effective inter-stakeholder communication in all directions. All findings from the three brands, our training materials and contacts database were handed over to the FWF, helping them to speed up the establishment of local FWF offices in Myanmar in 2016.

For years, we have been working individually towards the advancement of working conditions along our supply chain. This collaboration project sets new standards. It shows that by joining forces, we can increase the chances of achieving better, safer and fairer working conditions through expanding awareness of workers’ rights and setting up effective dialogue and participation mechanisms, whether it is for shared-use suppliers or for entirely new supplier destinations.