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Mar 28, 2024
A delegation from PRIMARK UK consisting of Mr. Paul A Lister, Director of Legal Services of Associated British Foods (ABF), who deals with Environmental Social Governance activities, Ms. Bee Ang, Director of Ethical Trade and Environmental Sustainability and Ms. Ruth Martin, Ethical Trade Senior Manager of British Retailer Primark visited our Association and interacted with our office bearers. On behalf of our Association, our President Mr. K.M. Subramanian, Vice President and Chairman of Tiruppur Stakeholders Forum Mr. V. Elangovan, Treasurer Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan, Joint Secretary Mr. Kumar Duraiswamy, Executive Committee Members Mr. R.K. Sivasubramanian and Mr. K. Mezhiselvan participated. A team from St. Johns Medical College Hospital, Bangalore also took part in the meeting.
Vice President, TEA and Chairman TSF Mr. V. Elangovan welcomed the gathering. He mentioned that TIRUPPUR EXPORTERS’ ASSOCIATION was the Pioneering Organization in India for Adopting Sustainability production techniques.
Our President Mr. K.M. Subramanian said that he was one of the oldest suppliers of Primark from 1996. He assured the Primark team that Tiruppur was a ESG Compliant Cluster and that Tiruppur was the only cluster with 100% Sustainable Activities.
In his address our Treasurer Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan said that “Sustainability is a Long-Term Goal” and Tiruppur has been working on a lot of Sustainability Goals like Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD), Generation of Non-Conventional Energy, Mass Tree Plantations, Desilting of Lakes etc. for over 20 years. He further said that each exporter in Tiruppur has a separate team dedicated to achieving ESG compliance.
Mr. Paul A Lister, in his address, reassured that the European markets have seen improvements recently post covid and the volumes have been on the increase despite problems like ‘Red Sea issue’, ‘Ukraine War’ etc. He mentioned that some of the manufacturers feel that ESG activities are costly and emphasized that adopting ESG measures was the LICENSE TO DO BUSINESS. He said that a lot of countries in Europe were in the process of introducing new and strict legislations to ensure that all products imported into their country are ESG compliant and levy very heavy penalties for non-adherence. By 2030, all the nations would have legislations in place to ensure Sustainable production with emphasis on ban on “FORCED LABOUR” Going forward, PRIMARK would not source from any manufacturer who cannot ensure Transparency and Traceability in Production. He said that ‘Ultra-Fast Fashion’ would be totally Redefined. He encouraged our members to treat this as a good OPPORTUNITY and not feel it as a THREAT.
Our Joint Secretary Mr. Kumar Duraiswamy made a Power Point Presentation detailing the Sustainability Initiatives of Tiruppur like the adoption of Government Schools by the business community for the benefit of the workers and people of Tiruppur, Construction of Roads, building and maintenance of Crematoriums, creating a Bamboo Park, Building of World Class Cancer Hospitals and Dialysis Centers, Rainwater Harvesting, Organizing Medical Camps and Screening Camps for breast and cervical cancer for women in collaboration with the Government. He requested PRIMARK also to join the initiative by being an active contributor.
Mr. Paul A Lister promised to document these activities of Tiruppur properly and thereby help in identifying Tiruppur as a Sustainable Production Centre and explore possibilities of contributions from PRIMARK. He further advised the Association to shift focus and highlight the welfare measures offered to the work force and how the interests of the highly vulnerable Migrant Labour and protected by Tiruppur Hub and make it worker-centric since that is a major factor on which the legislations being brought by Europe, UK and USA are based on.
Our President Mr. K.M. Subramanian, mentioned that the Tiruppur business community has been leading the preparatory work for this for the past 20 years. He said that the primary task of the association was to prepare the Tiruppur Exporters to meet the European legislations that will come into effect by 2030, and today’s meeting was a step towards documenting and getting approval for all these activities.
Our President Mr. K.M. Subramanian, Treasurer Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan and Joint Secretary Mr. Kumar Duraiswamy felicitated the PRIMARK Team with shawls.
Through a Power Point Presentation, team from St. John’s Medical College Hospital explained the Occupational Health Hazards in garment factories including the mental health and stress among the work force of the Tiruppur Cluster. They highlighted their initiative “MAITRI” through which they offer different levels of training and awareness on problems caused by Interpersonal issues.
Our Executive Committee Member Mr. R. K. Sivasubramaniam proposed the Vote of Thanks.