In the wake of the fire last month at a Bangladeshi clothing factory, a Wal-Mart executive acknowledged to Reuters that the company needs to do more to control its supply chain.
Tazreen Fashions, where a fire killed more than 100 workers, was making clothing for Wal-Mart. The company says the factory was not cleared to be doing Wal-Mart manufacturing.
Rajan Kamalanathan, Wal-Mart’s vice president of ethical sourcing, notes that under its current system of controls, the retailer can’t do much if its suppliers subcontract Wal-Mart work without notifying the company. Kamalanathan says Wal-Mart is thinking about better ways to work with suppliers that work with agents that place production. The story also notes that retailers are discussing stipulating fire safety codes in their contracts with suppliers.
Separately, Bloomberg reports that the Worker Rights Consortium estimates the global garment industry would have to spend $3 billion over five years to bring Bangladesh clothing factories up to Western fire safety standards.