Press Releases and Statements

Position Statement – Statement by CEO Biagio Chiarolanza on the Group’s work in support of the victims of the Rana Plaza

Ponzano, Italy, 8 November 2013. The following is a statement by Biagio Chiarolanza, CEO of Benetton Group: “What happened at the Rana Plaza was an immense human tragedy and it has profoundly affected everyone across our entire organization. For this reason, it is important to find lasting solutions to the problems facing the garment industry in Bangladesh: above all to ensure the safety of workers.

While companies are working together with key sector stakeholders on long-term, lasting solutions, as an industry we must not forget about the victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy and their families – neither of which can be tackled alone. So immediately after the tragedy, our Group formed a partnership with the Bangladesh-based NGO BRAC*, the largest non-governmental organization in the world, to deliver support directly to those in need. For the same reason, our Group joined others in the industry – companies, NGOs and trade unions – to form the Bangladesh Fire & Building Safety Accord. As an active member of the Accord, we are contributing to raising standards for factory workers across the entire garment industry in that country in the longer term. The Accord is now in effect and our program with BRAC, launched in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza tragedy, is providing medical assistance and long-term support to families of the victims.

In addition to this, several weeks ago Benetton Group joined from the start a multi-stakeholder committee which includes – among others – the ILO, brands/companies, international and local unions, NGO’s as well as representatives of the Bangladesh government and local trade organizations. This group set forth as an objective to create a going forward framework for the payment of compensation to victims of the Rana Plaza and similar accidents.

To-date, the committee has yet to produce a clear enough vision of the go-forward plan, sufficiently detailed to attract enough participation from all sides. We realize that this is mainly due to the fact that the work is still very much only in progress, for this reason we committed to remaining directly engaged in the process and look forward to continue working next to the other members towards our common objective: to get as many stakeholders as possible to join in. At the same time, while further sufficient progress is made, we will also continue to support the victims and their families through our on the ground partnership with the NGO BRAC.”

Notes:

*Established in 1972, BRAC is the largest non-governmental organisation in the world working to support individuals and communities affected by poverty, illiteracy or social injustice. It provides help in various fields, from social and gender discrimination to education and from microcredit to human rights, employment and the environment reaching out to 126 million people worldwide. Born in a remote village of Bangladesh, where it still operates supporting local communities, BRAC is now spreading solutions to ten other countries around the world and was recently ranked number 1 NGO in the world by Global Journal for its impact, innovation and sustainability model. To ensure the effectiveness of its work, BRAC has put in place training, research and monitoring systems across all our activities and financial checks and balances in the form of audits.