*|MC:SUBJECT|*
VALUE CHAIN NEWS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT - EVERY TUESDAY
This newsletter contains links to content located on external websites.
Over time it is likely that some of the links to this content may be broken.
You are advised to download material of interest as soon as possible.
LOGO OF THE
NEWS & RESEARCH FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
(#8 / 2019 - 26 March 2019)
www.africantextilesandapparel.com
Interested in H&M
See Below!
What Garments Does Ethiopia Export
Zimbabwe Firm Problems
NEWS

SOUTH AFRICA – REVIVING CAPE TOWN’S CLOTHING & TEXTILE SECTOR … AGAIN, 19 March 2019
The city of Cape Town has plans to commission a clothing, textile and fashion study in the 2019/20 financial year in order to unpack the economic contribution of the sector. The outcome of this study will help to map out the value chain, provide a snapshot of the dynamics of the sector and help to identify potential opportunities and inherent constraints for the local industry. In 2017 Cape Town’s textile and clothing industry contributed R4,4bn (US$303m) to the metro’s export sector - it is now also the second largest employer within the local manufacturing sector. READ HERE >>


ETHIOPIA – LOGISTICS WOES, 20 March 2019
Ethiopia has high hopes for manufacturing and exports, but the country will not be competitive until it solves its logistical problems. In January 2019, it emerged that Ethiopian exports had once again disappointed, undershooting the government’s six-month target of US$1.96bn by nearly 40%. It was a sobering reminder that, for all of Ethiopia’s rapid, state-led growth over the past decade, exports have consistently shown few signs of improvement. The figures are telling. To transport a 20ft container of garments from Ethiopia to Germany costs 247% more than from Vietnam, and 72% more than from Bangladesh. In 2016, Ethiopia scored 2.37 in the World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index – significantly lower than nearby Uganda, which is also landlocked. READ HERE >>

Comment
Ethiopia’s logistics are horrendous – but its trade data does show that exports to the US are increasing.


UGANDA – GMO COTTON, 22 March 2019
Anxiety and confusion have gripped Uganda’s scientific community and advocates for agricultural biotechnology as the constitutional deadline has passed for the country’s President to sign into law the recently-passed Genetic Engineering Regulatory Act. READ HERE >>


KENYA – COTTON REVIVAL TO SUPPLY RIVATEX PLANT, 23 March 2019
The county government of West Pokot in Kenya has signed an MoU with Rivatex to improve cotton production in the semi-arid area. In the deal, Rivatex will provide certified seeds, pesticides and a ready market to the farmers. More than 5,000 acres are targeted for cotton growing this year. The Rivatex managing director praised the partnership saying the company will increase the supply of raw materials for maximum operations. West Pokot is the third county to sign the agreement after Kericho and Elgeyo-Marakwet. READ HERE >>


ZIMBABWE – BLANKET FACTORY WOES, 19 March 2019
Bulawayo based textile maker National Blankets is facing imminent liquidation after failing to court a suitable investor to inject fresh capital into the ailing company. The company, which was placed under judicial management in 2012 due to viability concerns, experienced a drastic fall in demand as the market for woven blankets declined. National Blankets still uses equipment that was first installed in 1940, early into the Second World War that can only manufacture woven blankets and cannot be configured to produce highly knitted blankets currently on the market. READ HERE >>


ZIMBABWE – ARCHER CLOTHING RETRENCHMENTS, 24 March 2019
Bulawayo textile and clothing company, Archer Clothing Manufacturers, has been forced to lay off 200 of its workers because of inadequate power supplies at its factory and dwindling local orders. READ HERE >>


NIGERIA – COTTON FARMERS AMBITIOUS TARGET 300,000 TONNES, 20 March 2019
The National Cotton Association of Nigeria says it is targeting the production of between 240,000 and 300,000 tonnes of cotton in 2019. The set target would be achieved under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. In 2018 the Association produced an estimated 60,000 and 80,000 tonnes of seed cotton in 2018. READ HERE >>


AFRICA – NEW ACTIF CEO, March 2019
The African Cotton & Textile Industries Federation (ACTIF – SEE >> and SEE >>) has a new Chief Executive Officer - Emmanuel Mukua. According to the ACTIF Chair – Jaswinder Bedi – Mukua brings “extensive experience in the cotton, textile and apparel value chain, production and commercial fronts”. Emmanuel Mukua’s profile can be SEEN HERE >>.


MAURITIUS – IS FUTURE TEXTILES OUT OF TROUBLE, 9 March 2019
Some weeks ago this blog reported that Future Textiles was in trouble. It's now been revealed that the company’s 250 employees have been paid their December 2018 and January 2019 salaries. However, the wages of employees in a subsidiary Tex-Washing have not been paid. The company is now under judicial management. READ HERE >> (then let “Google Translate” do its magic!)


MADAGASCAR – INDUSTRIAL PARK FOR MAURITIAN INVESTORS, 13 March 2019
Madagascar is building a new industrial park, and its government has said that it will reserve 80 hectares for Mauritian textile and apparel entrepreneurs. READ HERE >> (then let “Google Translate” do its magic!)

Comment
Smart move! I predict that Mauritius will slowly let it's textile and apparel industry drift away as its plans to move its economy into higher skilled occupations (off-shore financial centre, call centres, etc.).


LESOTHO – TEXTILE SECTOR INDUSTRIAL ACTION THREAT 22 March 2019
The workers in two of the Nien Hsing’s groups’ six factories have demanded the creation of a separate fabric and paper mill wages sector. Workers claim that they are wrongly classified undergarment sector which has the lowest pay. One of the biggest firms in this sector, the Taiwan-based Nien Hsing (SEE >> ), which employs about a quarter of the sector’s workforce, has about 10,000 workers in six Lesotho factories. Two of these factories, Formosa Textiles, and Formosa Corrugated Paper Section, “are not producing garments and are using heavier machines compared to the garments units,” said the deputy secretary general of UNITE. READ HERE >>

Comment
I agree that workers should be paid more for the skills that they have and use. However. Should workers making jeans for Levi Strauss be paid more than workers making jeans for a “dollar store” … I think not! The Lesotho schedule of minimum wages schedule needs to be underpinned by a decent job description categorisation.

Formosa Textiles already pays many of it workers above what is specified in the country's minimum wage law. My view is that Lesotho unions (and the Lesotho government) should consider a careful approach with regards the Nien Hsing - for its known that over the past three years that the group has been looking at alternate places to invest in sub-Saharan Africa. Its known that they have frequently visited Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya!


LESOTHO & ETHIOPIA – US TRADE UNIONIST VISITS TEXTILE/APPAREL UNIONS, March 2019
The Regional Program Director for AFL-CIO’s Africa Solidarity Center has recently toured a number of sub-Saharan African states scoping programmes in Africa’s textile and apparel manufacturing industry. The Solidarity Centre (SEE >>) is the international arm of the United States’ giant labour federation … the American Federation of Labour & Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL-CIO SEE >>). In the trips, the Solidarity Centre met with at least two Lesotho garment and textile trade unions; as well as with the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU) and the Federation of Ethiopian Textile, Leather & Garment Workers’ Trade Union.

Source: Twitter posts from Hanad M. Mohamud - the Africa Regional Program Director of the Solidarity Center.

Comment
It will be interesting to see what sort of programmes that they develop. Hopefully, their interventions will help unions to develop solid shop floor organisation – from the ground-up. I have seen many international union development programmes only make unions lazy to the extent that when the programme ends things generally go back to what they were. In the case of Lesotho, it would be good if the Solidarity Centers’ programme reduced the number of unions operating in the country’s textile and apparel industry – for there are now too many of them. It will be good if they first undertook a complete diagnostic of the unions they have received requests from so as to ensure that US workers’ funds are effectively spent!

The Solidarity Centre ran a really good intervention in Swaziland (now eSwatini) in the noughties. This programme was very successful in bringing about centralised collective bargaining in the country’s textile and apparel industry. However, just as the intervention started to show real progress – the Solidarity Centre dropped the programme. I think that they did so because its own textile and apparel affiliate disaffiliated from the AFL-CIO.

It also interesting to note that in 2017 the Solidarity Centre managed to annoy the Swazi textile and apparel union when it was found out that they may have appealed to the US government not to restore Swaziland’s African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) free trade privileges in the early stages of the AGOA country eligibility review process. The problem with the Solidarity Center’s approach was that they did not consult with the Swazi unions. They retreated silently. Swaziland got its AGOA status back! Ooooops!


UGANDA – GINNERY LABOUR PRACTICES EXPOSED, 4 March 2019
A minute’s stroll through the cloud of cotton fumes coming out of the East Acholi Cooperative Ginnery in Kitgum in Uganda is enough to choke you and force you to halt any further movements. But for the young lads aged between 18-25, who earn paltry income for several hard hours of labour, it’s only a matter of time, before they are diagnosed with a chronic chest or lung infections due to the constant inhaling of the cotton furs. Joseph Otim, (18), is one of those we found among others working at the ginnery. He works for 8 hours a day, from 8am to 2pm earning UGX7,000 (US$1.90). The workers are employed by the Gulu Agricultural Development Company (GADC – SEE >>), a firm owned a South African - Bruce Robertson. Robertson, through GADC, is one of Uganda’s biggest cotton buyers and exporters, and he leased the ginnery from East Acholi Cooperatives Union Limited. READ HERE >>


AFRICA – CALL TO ABANDON TAX HOLIDAYS, 20 March 2019
Chief Macroeconomist at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) who is a co-author of the 2019 “Economic Report on Africa” (SEE >>), advised African countries to abandon tax holidays for investors. “Many countries in Africa have offered tax exemptions, tax holidays that never worked. Tax holidays do not really matter a lot. They are just a loss…”. READ HERE >>

Comment
This will be music to the World Bank’s and the IMF’s ears – but when it suits them, they do like fiscal incentives. Take for example the global financial crisis of 2008/09. I like incentives – but they should be linked to firms improving their competitiveness – and getting them to measure their competitiveness so that they can compete without incentives. It's astounding how badly designed incentive programmes are in this regard.
CLICK HERE TO FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER TO A COLLEAGUE
PREVIOUS EDITIONS OF THE
"AFRICAN COTTON, TEXTILES & APPAREL MONITOR"
ARE ARCHIVED ON THE WEBSITE

WWW.AFRICANTEXTILESANDAPPAREL.COM
FOCUS

H&M & THE ETHICAL TRADING INITIATIVE
& THE FAIR LIVING WAGE

In November 2013 H&M produced its “Roadmap Towards a Fair Living Wage”. In the document, H&M announced: “H&M's strategic suppliers should have pay structures in place to pay a fair living wage by 2018. By then, this will reach around 850,000 textile workers.”
(Source – secondary websites – the original 2013 “Roadmap” is no longer on the H&M's website).

At the time of the H&M announcement the Netherland’s based Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC
SEE >>), who, while having reservations, said that they welcomed “the roadmap as a positive step forward in the brand's approach to the payment of a fair living wage with some clear goals and deadlines.”. They further stated that they believed “that a living wage is the cornerstone of decent work and therefore the payment of a living wage must be an inherent and inextricable core element of any truly sustainable corporate accountability framework.” READ HERE >>

On 1 May 2018 the CCC placed a spotlight on the 2013 H&M by launching the “Turn Around H&M” campaign (SEE >>). The CCC stated: “The Clean Clothes Campaign is dedicating this year’s International Labour Day to the hundreds of thousands of workers who produce garments for H&M. They are waiting for the brand to stop turning its back on the commitment that living wages would become a reality by 2018.”

The CCC also stated: “By now it is clear that our scepticism was well justified. More than four years after H&M published the roadmap, hundreds of thousands of workers producing H&M’s garments are still not receiving living wages. According to H&M’s own figures, workers producing their garments in Bangladesh, for example, reportedly earned US$95 per month in 2017. Contrast that with Asia Floor Wage living wage benchmark for Bangladesh: roughly US$448."

“Indeed, instead of fulfilling the commitment, H&M has watered it down yet further. According to the brand’s latest sustainability report, the aim is now for supplier factories to use the Fair Wage Method. Whether or not this actually leads to the workers being paid a living wage by 2018 is not addressed at all in the report. Furthermore, H&M has seemingly purged its website of the documents that specified its original commitment back in 2013."
READ HERE >>

In response it appears as if H&M's sustainability and corporate communications units worked much overtime – press statements, workshops, amended roadmaps, multi-stakeholder initiatives energised, allies mobilised, research commissioned, etc. Details of H&M current minimum wages philosophies and plans can be SEEN HERE >>.

One of the things that H&M did was engage consultants to undertake research – one of these was the UK headquartered Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).
READ HERE >>

The London based ETI sees itself as a leading an alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe. They state that their "vision is a world where all workers are free from exploitation and discrimination, and enjoy conditions of freedom, security and equity".
SEE >>

For the ETI ethical trade "means that retailers, brands and their suppliers take responsibility for improving the working conditions of the people who make the products they sell. Most of these workers are employed by supplier companies around the world, many of them based in poor countries where laws designed to protect workers' rights are inadequate or not enforced."

"Companies with a commitment to ethical trade adopt a code of labour practice that they expect all their suppliers to work towards. Such codes address issues like wages, hours of work, health and safety and the right to join free trade unions."

H&M is a member of the ETI.

In about late September/early October 2018, H&M issued a request for proposals related to a study/investigation of its fair living wage initiative. The ETI was awarded the contract.

So for me, this raised one main question. How objective could the study/investigation be? Some of the language in parts of the study's Executive Summary did suggest otherwise! Sure - H&M does many things right - but its not perfect.

H&M seems to believe that they got an "INDEPENDENT EVALUATION".
READ HERE >>. H&M's 11 December 2018 news release stated the following:
"Reaching our first milestone in our fair living wage strategy, we are now reflecting on the first five years of our work and deciding on future steps. As part of this, the Ethical Trading Initiative, ETI, has conducted an independent evaluation of our strategy. It will be presented at the Fair Living Wage Summit and we are proud that our dedication to this topic is recognized by the ETI. Since we are testing new ways of working, we are in a continuous dialogue with industry stakeholders and experts – both to ensure our efforts are on target and to work out how the industry should jointly address these industry-wide challenges."

You can understand why my remaining senses were spinning!

I thought - an "INDEPENDENT EVALUATION"! FFS!!!

One: H&M designed the study/review's terms of reference.
Two: H&M paid for research/review.
Three: H&M chose and appointed the contractor.
Four: H&M is a paid-up member of the organisation that undertook the research.

So now you can hear my alarm bells?

It would be interesting to see what comments H&M provided on the drafts of the study/review when the ETI presented these to them. And how the ETI responded to these comments ... or did H&M get a completed report without being given an opportunity to make editorial comment?

The ETI's H&M commissioned piece entitled: “
Review of H&M Group’s Roadmap to Fair Living Wage” is dated December 2018 (SEE >>). I guess that it may have been extensively discussed at H&M's "Living Wage Summit" that was held in Phnom Penh (Vietnam) on 11 December 2018 - which looks to me like it could have been a group hug of (mainly) allies. I understand that the CCC - stupidly in my opinion - did not attend.

Of course, I could be proved wrong about the patriotic nature of this event if the presentations were publicly released; as well as a full transcript of proceedings. This H&M event summit website certainly does not help!!!
SEE HERE >>

The ETI's report's "Executive Summary" (see pages 3-6) opening paragraphs state:
"H&M group has taken bold action in becoming the first apparel brand to address the complex wage issue and set significant public goals to help achieve what it terms “fair, living wages” (FLW) for garment workers. It has sought to deliver it's Fair Living Wage Roadmap (FLWR) amid challenging market conditions, political instability and intense stakeholder scrutiny. Despite this, it has persevered in implementing a considered and coherent strategy, supported by commitment at a senior level, and shown flexibility and a willingness to learn and adapt. Challenges have arisen due to different interpretations of H&M group’s approach and consequently different expectations.

“This review accepts that H&M group did not set out to determine specific wage levels and that its efforts are aimed at improving wage systems at factory level, supported by improved industrial relations and its own purchasing practices. There is evidence that this approach could deliver an impact on wages levels over time. However, we believe that as the Roadmap moves ahead, it will be important to monitor the impact on real wage levels, separately to minimum wage increases, and in terms of workers purchasing power, accounting for inflation, in a robust and independent way."

"H&M group’s systemic approach to addressing garment workers’ wages is commendable, and the overall concept of its FLWR is both coherent and relevant. … "

Some of the language! Ughhhhhh! True ... H&M may be a better retailer that most ... but ...

To get more background about the initiative I asked the ETI's head a set of questions related to the work that they did for H&M.
The "African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor" (ACTAM) asked Peter McAllister - the Executive Director of the Ethical Trading Initiative - a number of questions related to the research in order to get a more informed context to the ETI project.

ACTAM: was this paper paid for by H&M? If so how much did H&M pay (I presume outside of their typical ETI membership fees) the ETI for producing this report?
ETI: H&M put out a call for proposals to a number of credible organisations that they felt could undertake a review of their Fair Living Wage work. This was not a research paper but a practical review. ETI was selected from this competitive process. This was paid for work and not part of H&M’s membership fees. The contract paid for the professional services, consultants and costs such as travel etc required to deliver this review. There was no profit or other cost recovery from this commission.

ACTAM: would you be able to share, if it exists, the terms of reference / scope of work / expression of interest issued by H&M related this ETI report?
ETI: There was a Terms of Reference which is the property of H&M and a proposal that we sent that responded to this terms of reference. You should ask H&M if they are willing to share these. If they agree we would be more than happy to share this. This work covered a review of the Fair Living Wage strategy, consulting with a wide range of internal H&M and external stakeholders, including critics, to inform comment on whether the strategy was well informed and well executed.

ACTAM: in Appendix I of the report ("Disclaimer") the ETI states that it "seeks to help its members to make the best possible progress towards meeting human rights standards in global supply chains and it is therefore in our interest to be completely objective in this review". In this context why did the ETI not insist on it being also able to investigate the wages paid to workers employed by H&M's manufacturing vendors in Ethiopia? This is, in my view surprising, given that some of the lowest wages paid textile and apparel workers anywhere in the world today are most probably paid to value chain blue collar workers in Ethiopia. I note that the ETI report has two - which I interpret as "positive" - references to H&M 's activities in Ethiopia (apparently is has been active in the country since 2012).
ETI: The task at hand was to review the strategy and implementation of the Fair Living Wage project which has not being implemented in Ethiopia. We did not therefore review H&Ms sourcing in Ethiopia. We are however concerned about the low wage levels in the garment industry in Ethiopia and I will visit this country in May to better understand the prevailing conditions for the industry. As a follow-on to the work already undertaken we are encouraging H&M and others to learn from this review and apply the positive lessons and strategies across their sourcing, which would include Ethiopia.

We interviewed an ILO representative based in Ethiopia. She noted that Ethiopia doesn't have a minimum wage mechanism – but clarified that H&M is the only brand that has been supporting the ILO in advocating for min wage legislation, and by doing so were helping the ILO increase its own leverage on this issue.

ACTAM: In the ETI report you reference the 2018 research work done on Ethiopia's national minimum wage produced by Professor Alemayehu Geda - "Towards a National Minimum Wage in Ethiopia – An Exploratory Study" - which I understand was partly funded by H&M! Would you be able to share this paper with me?
ETI: This paper was shared with us in draft and to the best of our knowledge is not yet published. We suggest that you contact the ILO to see if they can share this with you.


Post Script

ILO's ETHIOPIA MINIMIUM WAGE RESEARCH
I have previously repeatedly asked the ILO in Ethiopia for a copy of the minimum wage research (which may have been partly/wholly co-financed by H&M or the Swedish government's International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)). The ILO have said that its not ready, or they have ignored my requests.


I understand that this research may have been rejected (would "swept under the carpet" be a more appropriate characterisation?). I am unsure as to why, nor as to what parts of the report were deemed unacceptable, and, which were the parties that may have objected to it. I guess I will have to ask the ILO.

HOWEVER I NOW HAVE A COPY OF THE DRAFT REPORT
IF YOU WANT IT CONTACT ME!

editor@africantextilesandapparel.com
Comment
I have a lot of time for the ETI - I generally think, from I have read of their work, that they do many good things. At a soppy level - "their hearts and heads are in the right place"!

In South Africa, I know that they are interested in doing solid work in trying to persuade a major apparel retailer in that country in order to improve the lives of the South African workers that make their garments. I think that they are succeeding!

Also, if I were a worker, I would most probably rather work in an H&M vendor than work in many other large, and not so large, factories that make clothes for other apparel retailers/brands.

Although, I guess if I were a worker in a place like Ethiopia I would battle to survive on the wages of less than US$35 a month that my H&M supplier employer paid to me; and, I would do my best to flip-them-a-bird in subtle ways throughout my work day.

H&M is now a major sourcing player in Ethiopia. They buy a bucket load of garments - from some of the factories that pay some of the lowest wages paid anywhere in the world.


In the “African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor” (No. 6 of 12 March 2019 READ >>) I reported the following:
“According to a recently released survey an individual in Ethiopia needs a monthly amount of ETB4,130 (US$144.15) to live; but after comparing this with the typical wages paid to 1,062 textile and apparel workers surveyed 92.5% of those interviewed earned less than the calculated “living wage”.

“The 2018 survey – which was carried out by Mywage.org/Ethiopia in partnership with the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Unions (CETU) and various universities – found that 8% of garment workers earned less than US$34.90 a month; while an astounding 65% took home less than US$69.81 a month."

No matter how much research H&M does: no matter how much spin it produces; no matter how many multi-stakeholder initiatives it engages in; no matter how many allies it mobilises; no matter it has good relations with the ILO or a country's government; that it has global trade unions on speed dial; etc; ... it needs to figure out a short-term solution to the low wages paid. Saying it is committed to an "Action Collaboration Transformation" (ACT) initiative (
SEE >>) to deliver better wages is rather like 'Waiting for Godot'!

Ultimately, the low wages paid in Ethiopia will invoke mass consumer revulsion (certainly in the EU; perhaps in the US)! It will also mean that unless there is a change that Ethiopian manufacturers that make garments for H&M will continue to experience atrociously low productivity.

Sugar coating the social elements of a supply chain with patriotic research ultimately does not work - well for as long as the likes of me exist! Efforts are important. Realistic, positive, transparent and measureable actions are a lot better.

Sometimes its better to take the lead and fix the broken - irrespective of what garment suppliers think, or what governments may think, and, no matter if your competitors see your move as weakness.
-----------------------------

NEW TARGETS NEW GOALS!

On 19 March 2019 H&M stated the following:

"Today, 57% of all materials used by H&M group is recycled or sustainably sourced. This is an increase from 35% in just oneyear, and takes us closer to our goal to only use recycled or other sustainably sourced materials by 2030."

Its great that H&M cares about the environment - many more apparel brands and retailers need to make enhanced efforts.

but I wonder if H&M's definition of "sustainably sourced" will remain constant? And, obviously, will it keep to the deadline dates that it sets for itself.
TO SUBSCRIBE TO THIS NEWSLETTER "CLICK" HERE
RESEARCH & BRIEFINGS

Amid Political Recalibrations: Strike Wave Hits Ethiopia”. SA Admasie. In “Labour & Society”. Pages 431–435. 2018.
Synopsis: While the political protests that have gripped Ethiopia in recent years and the recalibrations within the ruling front that they have generated have been the subject of extensive attention, another aspect of ongoing social turbulence has been almost entirely neglected: the wave of labour unrest apparent since the autumn of 2017. No less than a dozen strikes have been recorded, in addition to a number of other signs of growing restiveness among wageworkers. This commentary seeks to shed light on the ongoing strike wave and the social conditions that underpin it. They include real wages that have dropped to a historical record low, and are reinforced by attempts to further erode labour rights. To read the mini paper SEE HERE >>.


Report of the Workshop on Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management Systems”. Workshop run by USAID/USFS. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 19-23 March 2018.
Synopsis: The overall objective was to build capacity among industrial park developers and industries on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental Management Systems (EMS) in order to foster sustainability in Ethiopia’s industrialisation. Specific objectives of the workshop were to: i) Create awareness about the importance of integrating long-term economic, environmental, and social aspects in the industries’ business strategies while maintaining global competitiveness and brand reputation; ii) Analyse the role of stakeholders along the global supply chain and their impact on the industry’s sustainability; iii) Provide an overview about international standards for social and environmental responsibility and understand the regulatory framework; iv) Understand and reflect on the practical implementation of CSR in the industry; v) Analyse and develop ideas for a strategy towards improved communication between park developers and industries. The workshop's proceedings can be SEEN HERE >>.
DATA

ETHIOPIAN APPAREL EXPORTS TO THE EU AND US
2014 - 2018
Comment
The trade data gives me the impression that the majority of the new apparel investment in Ethiopia is most probably all focussed on the US market place. This makes sense. The US generally has higher Most-Favoured-Nation (MFN) customs duties than does the EU. The challenge for these apparel buyers is what to do once the African Growth & Opportunity Act (AGOA) trade privileges expire in September 2025. Will the replacement agreement - be as advantageous!

Big apparel retailers and brands are obviously aware of this - as are their manufacturing vendors that are flocking to Ethiopia - no wonder the apex firms in these buyer-driven value chains are not addressing the issue of the wage paid in Ethiopia. For this is what they will be competitive at ... of course, if they get it right!

TOP 15 ETHIOPIAN APPAREL EXPORTS TO THE US IN 2018
SOURCE: USITC Dataweb
SNIPPETS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
UZBEKISTAN COTTON REMOVED FROM US CHILD LABOUR LIST – 25 March 2019
The US Department of Labour (DoL) has issued a final determination to remove cotton from Uzbekistan from a list of products that may have been produced by forced or child labour. Executive Order 13126 prohibits federal agencies from acquiring goods, wares, articles, and merchandise that have been mined, produced, or manufactured wholly or in part by forced or indentured child labour, and the so-called EO13126 list identifies products that the DoL has a reasonable basis for believing might meet that criterion.
Source: Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report


LEVI STRAUSS LISTS ON THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE - 21 March 2019
Levi Strauss & Co. shares surged by more than a third on their first day of trading after the 165-year-old company (and inventor of the blue jeans) returned to the public market. The question is: Will the second time be the charm?
Source: Forbes


BETTER COTTON INITIATIVE GROWS - 5 March 2019
In 2018, the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) experienced a historic level of uptake as 93 retailer and brand members sourced more than one million metric tonnes of Better Cotton – apparently, that’s enough cotton to make approximately 1.5bn pairs of jeans. Better Cotton uptake increased 45% on the previous year, and at the end of 2018, retailer and brand member sourcing of Better Cotton accounted for 4% of global cotton consumption. By integrating Better Cotton into their sustainable sourcing strategies and increasing sourcing commitments year-on-year, BCI’s retailer and brand members are driving demand for more sustainable cotton production worldwide.
Source: Better Cotton Initiative
UPCOMING EVENTS
  • Morocco Fashion & Textile - Trade Show - 28-31 March 2019. Casablanca, Morocco. For more information: www.moroccostyle.net
  • Intertex Tunisia - Trade Show - 4-6 April 2019. Tunis, Tunisia. For more information: www.intertextunisia.com
  • 8th International Sustainable Industrial Areas - Conference - 8-10 April 2019. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information: www.siaconference.com
  • Source Africa - Trade Show - 12-14 June 2019. Cape Town, South Africa. For more information: www.sourceafrica.co.za
  • Premiertex Africa 2019 - Trade Show - 18-20 June 2019. Nairobi, Kenya. For more information: www.premiertex-africa.com
  • Destination Africa - Trade Show - 9-11 November 2019. Cairo, Egypt. For more information: www.destination-africa.org
  • Africa Sourcing & Fashion Week (ASFW) - Trade Show - 9-12 November 2019. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information: www.asfw-online.com
  • International Textile Machinery Exhibition - Africa - Trade Show - 14-16 February 2020. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information: www.itme-africa.com
CLASSIFIEDS
JOBS, TENDERS & PROCUREMENT
MANUFACTURING EQUIPMENT WANTED / FOR SALE
Looking for staff? Want to engage a consultant? Have equipment to sell? Do you need 2nd hand machinery? Have a tender? For a limited period the "African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor" will publish (free of charge) select classified advertisements from firms / development organisations active in the Africa's crop to shop value chain. Adverts limited to 50 words / 300 characters (and may include a mini logo).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
CLICK TO SHARE YOUR NEWS
about Mark Bennett - Editor

"The African Cotton, Textiles & Apparel Monitor"
I have almost 30 years' experience working in Africa's cotton, textiles and apparel value chain. Initially I was, for 15 years, a sector trade unionist in South Africa; then, from 2004 onwards, I worked as a development consultant for various Southern / Eastern African governments, and domestic private sectors. In my development activities I have been engaged by private sector foundations, and by DFID and USAID funded contractors. I find it rewarding creating development interventions that help cotton, textiles and apparel stakeholders to better processes, improve productivity, increase sales and add investment. See my full CV at Devex or LinkedIn.
------------------------------------------------------
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.
*|IFNOT:ARCHIVE_PAGE|* *|LIST:DESCRIPTION|*
The views expressed in this newsletter do not necessarily reflect the views of the editor.

My mailing address is:
*|HTML:LIST_ADDRESS_HTML|* *|END:IF|*

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

If you would like to subscribe to the newsletter you can also do so by visit the website www.africantextilesandapparel.com

*|IF:REWARDS|* *|HTML:REWARDS|* *|END:IF|*
©2017 ACTAM