Kathmandu Joins Fair Labor Association

Kathmandu has become the first Australian and New Zealand company to join the internationally renowned Fair Labor Association (FLA) as part of a commitment to enhance its social compliance program and use ethical suppliers.

Kathmandu’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Todd, said the company was committed to only use suppliers who respected workers’ rights and in recent years had made significant progress in auditing the employment practices and working conditions of its supplier group.

“‘This is not something that we pay lip service to. Our Board and management are dedicated to having a sustainable supply chain and while we have made measurable improvements we recognise there is more work to be done and that we cannot do it by ourselves,” Mr Todd said.

Kathmandu researched a number of international groups working in this area and determined that the FLA was best suited to assist with enhancing the well established social compliance program to achieve global best practice.

“The Fair Labor Association supplies a deep dive analysis of supply chain management and they will provide training and resources to help develop and improve our compliance programs,” Mr Todd said.

As a new affiliate, Kathmandu has up to three years to bring its compliance program into alignment with FLA’s obligations. During this period, Kathmandu is responsible for completing self-assessments and disclosing its suppliers and FLA will also begin its standard external assessments of Kathmandu’s supply chain in the first half of 2015. “We will be working closely with the Fair Labor Association toward full accreditation and we are pleased to be joining global industry leaders in promoting and protecting workers’ rights” Mr Todd said.

As a participating company, Kathmandu has committed to upholding the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct throughout the supply chain, starting with major first tier suppliers. Results of FLA independent assessments will be published on the Fair Labor website.

"We're pleased to welcome Kathmandu as the FLA's first participating company in the Southern Hemisphere," said Claudia Coenjaerts, president of the FLA. "As an affiliate of the Fair Labor Association, Kathmandu has committed to compliance with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct, and to transparency, which means that the FLA publicly discloses the findings of all of our factory assessments, along with recommendations for improvement. We look forward to working together with Kathmandu to advance workers' rights, and on evaluating their social compliance program for accreditation with the FLA."

Current FLA affiliates include adidas, Fruit Of The Loom, H & M, New Balance, Patagonia, Puma, and Tumi.

Kathmandu has just released its 2014 Sustainability Report, which outlines our commitment to minimising its environmental impact.

The Corporate Responsibility section of our website has recently been updated to provide more detailed information on the company’s activities.