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Accord appeals to brands to up inspection funding

A year after the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh and the Accord on Fire and Building Safety has appealed to retailers and clothing brands to donate more to the fund in order to complete its factory inspections. Europe-based Accord, an organisation set up in the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Dhaka to ensure higher factory standards through a legally binding agreement, this week published its first annual report.

From an initial 25 brand signatories at its inception, the Accord now has around 180 signatories, representing over 1,500 garment factories and two million workers. Signatories include clothing giants such as H&M, Benetton, Adidas, and Marks & Spencer. At present, each signatory contributes funding in proportion to the annual volume of its garment production in Bangladesh, relative to those of the other signatory companies. This is up to a maximum contribution of 5,00,000 dollars per year, averaged over the five years of the Accord.

Accord’s steering committee may also seek financial contributions from governmental and other donors. As of the end of June, the financial contributions generated from the increase in members have allowed the Accord to carry out 800 factory inspections. However, now the amount will now be needed to complete inspections on the remaining 700 factories.

Independent pilot inspections of a first batch of ten factories began in November last year, and since February, inspection teams have been in the field examining around 50 factories per week, the report revealed. To date, the organisation has disclosed inspection reports and corrective action plans (CAPs) of 60 factories out of 100 agreed.