Businesses must be proactive in ensuring that factories that make their retail products are made in an environment that offer safe working conditions.

US retail giant Walmart having admitted that the Bangladesh factory that burned down killing 110 people made some of the products sold in their stores and that a supplier subcontracted work in the factory without authorization and in direct violation of their policies, in my opinion is too little too late.

If the Tazreen garment factory did not burn down, killing so many innocent people the public would be unaware that Walmart, C&A and other retail industry were selling product made in these unsafe working environments.

The demand by society for quality ready made garment is increasingly high and it is a multi-billion industry and therefore, businesses have an obligation to ensure that they know where the products are being manufactured, the working condition of the environment, we cannot continuously bury our heads in the sand and pretend that we are not aware of the diabolical unsafe places that these poor people have to work in, in order to make garments that we find so easy to buy off the peg.

The factory working conditions of people in China, India and other Asian countries have been reported time and time again in the media.   These factory unsafe environments would not be tolerated in the UK, US or other European countries.  For us to ignore the unhealthy working conditions and the plight of these people is a travesty of a decent humane society.

It’s commendable that Walmart and the other organizations express their condolences to the families, but that will not bring them back.  What we need is for businesses to be vigilant in ensuring that their supplier code of conduct in terms of working conditions is on par with those of Western protocol, we should not have to wait for a disaster to occur to become proactive, this should be the norm.

By Sandrea: My Opinion