HERZOGENAURACH – Sportswear retailer adidas Group has begun sourcing Myanmar following two years of "extensive stakeholder engagement" in the country. The company announced the strategy as it published its updated global factory list, which details all the factories which manufacture products for adidas. The announcement coincides with news that Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association has launched Myanmar's first code of conduct for the country's apparel industry. MGMA, which represents around 300 member companies, drafted the code with officials from the EU-funded SMART Myanmar program.
Bill Anderson, head of social & environmental affairs for Asia Pacific region, adidas Group, said: "Myanmar (Burma) is a newly developing country, one which is undergoing positive political change, but also one that has a legacy of human rights abuses including the use of forced labour, child labour and the like. With the lifting of international trade sanctions against Burma, we asked ourselves a simple question: "If we want to do business in Myanmar, should we do more in our assurance process?" The answer was: "Yes, we need to set the bar higher". That led to a lengthy process of examining and strengthening our policies and approaches to ensure that, from the outset, we were protecting the rights and interests of local stakeholders in Myanmar, as well our reputation as an industry leader in sustainability."