Joe Fresh and Bangladesh


The Issue

A devastating fire destroyed a factory near Dhaka on April 24 2013 causing the death of aprox 1000 workers. Since then another fire has taken 8 more lives in a second factory fire in Dhaka. 

Twenty eight brands supplied by Rana Plaza were invited to two days of meetings with the United Nations but only nine attended. 

The Global Unions Industry ALL and UNI, Bangladeshi unions, and labor rights NGOs have been campaigning to convince major apparel brands to sign the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh in order to prevent similar disasters from happening in the future.

Unlike voluntary codes of conduct and company-controlled factory auditing programs, the Accord is a legally binding agreement signed by the Global and Bangladeshi unions and the brands and retailers, with four labour rights NGOs signing as witnesses. To date, over 100 major brands and retailers from Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, and Japan have signed the Accord. However, only one Canadian company – Loblaws – has become a signatory


Loblaw Co is the first Canadian company to sign the Accord for fire and building safety in Bangladesh. This is incredible!  





Loblaw Co (Joe Fresh) has been one of the only companies to come forawrd and face the tradegy that happened in the Bangladesh sweat shops they source clothing from.

 Dear Galen Weston Jr:

 While we admire your intent to compensate the families of the deceased and to tighten up on worker safety in overseas factories; we implore you to go one step further.

 Workers in your factory have been reported to make $0.21cents/hour and work an average of 13/hrs a day. This is unacceptable. While yes pulling out of Bangladesh does not solve the problem (in fact creates a bigger problem) there are very constructive actions you can take to improve the Bangladesh economy, support it's citizens and foster a positive relationship with your supplies and customers.

 Mr. Galen it is our belief that you are a forward thinking individual with the capacity to revolutionize working conditions in the third world.

 Your sustainable sea-food initiative prefaces its campaign with humility and a public recognition that these projects take time, patience and support. We are asking that you mirrior that project with regards to factory working conditions.

 We would like to continue support Loblaw Co and Joe Fresh, but can't justly support you without the following implications:

 1. Please include your action plan with regards to factory wages in your 2013 CSR reports.

 2. Please consider (like sustainable sea-food) tested and proven methods for over seas wage equality (i.e: fair trade certification or even simply: stricter auditing and fairer wages)

 3. Partner with us (your consumers) in a dialogue about this devestating trend (sourcing product from sweat shop conditions) adopted by all to many big businesses.

 Once an action plan is in place; we will reconsider supporting the Joe Fresh brand. Again, thank you for coming forward, lets work together to ensure that none of our clothing stakeholders are being marganilized from this process.


Please sign this petition to Mr Weston


Loblaw Co's official statement thus far:

Consistently updated report (still not addressing wage equity)

Point of Interest: "A new standard at Loblaw, ensuring all of our control brand products are made in facilities that respect local construction and building codes;" as quoted in this report does local me our local (western) or Bangladesh local as this drastically affects the integrity of this claim.