DATA

Joe Fresh is owned and operated by Loblaw Companies Limited. While Joe Fresh is the only apparel brand, Loblaw Companies Limited includes the following brands: Loblaw, Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, PC Financial, Joe Fresh, Life Brand, noname and President’s Choice

THE PROS:

Loblaw has signed the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.

Loblaw has financed fire and safety training for managers and employees in factories in Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India. The training covers fire safety protocols and processes such as maintaining fire exits, evacuation procedures and the proper use of a fire extinguisher.

THE CONS:

Joe Fresh manufactured products at the Rana Plaza factory at the time of the building collapse in 2013.

We don’t have any information on any environmental policies or goals related specifically to Joe Fresh.

In October 2013, the Sourcing Journal reported that there was a fire at a factory contracted by Joe Fresh that killed seven people. The factory, Aswad Composite Mills Ltd., is based in Bangladesh.

/ Joe Fresh is owned and operated by Loblaw Companies Limited. While Joe Fresh is the only apparel brand, Loblaw Companies Limited includes the following brands: Loblaw, Drug Mart, Pharmaprix, PC Financial, Joe Fresh, Life Brand, noname and President’s Choice.

/ In Canada, Joe Fresh retails online and in more than 350 retail locations, including 14 Joe Fresh stores. In the United States, the brand is available online and in 4 Joe Fresh stores in New York. Since 2014, Joe Fresh has opened 15 stores in South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.

/ Loblaw has approximately 192,000 employees. The brand does not share how many of these people are employed by Joe Fresh.

/ Bloomberg reported that in 2013 Loblaw posted revenues of CDN$3.2 billion.

/ We don’t have any information on: how many suppliers the brand uses, how many people the brand employs throughout their supply chain, lead times, the number of garments made annually, the number of collections released annually and how long the products are designed to last.

/ Loblaw lists some of the countries where Joe Fresh products are made, however the brand does not state that these are all of the countries in which they manufacture.

/ The brand does not disclose a public list of suppliers.

/ It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

/ Loblaw has a code of conduct, however we don’t have information on whether the code covers:

  • Guaranteeing freedom of movement to workers, a stable price to suppliers regardless of world price fluctuation, subcontracting, whether or not when the brand ends its relationship with a supplier if it has a program to ensure workers are fully paid for hours worked, a functioning grievance mechanism, partnerships in high risk locations, whether or not the brand has a system for basing sourcing decision on supplier labour conditions, what happens to the victims when child or forced labour is discovered, lead times, migrant workers, audit fatigue, whether or not auditors and factory managers are trained to identify human trafficking, child labour, and forced labour and sandblasting.

/ Loblaw has financed fire and safety training for managers and employees in factories in Thailand, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and India. The training covers fire safety protocols and processes such as maintaining fire exits, evacuation procedures and the proper use of a fire extinguisher.

/ Loblaw confirmed that Rana Plaza manufactured products for Joe Fresh at the time of the building collapse in 2013.

/ In October 2013, the Sourcing Journal reported that there was a fire at a factory contracted by Joe Fresh that killed seven people. The factory, Aswad Composite Mills Ltd., is based in Bangladesh.

/  In 2015 Human Rights Watch reported that in 2013, a factory producing for Joe Fresh often subcontracted to other factories to produce the brand’s products. Workers from the subcontracted factories reported a number of labor law violations, including; wages were less than the then statutory minimum of $80, forced overtime without overtime pay, absence of maternity pay for eligible workers, and disproportionate deductions of their monthly attendance bonus for a single day of sick leave. Workers said that the subcontractor factories also employed children and hid them when there were visitors. Loblaw responded to this report.

/ Loblaw responded to the Human Rights Watch report stating that the report is outdated and it doesn’t provide actionable specifics. They say “Speaking practically, if we were given details of the alleged violation, we would have a member of our Loblaw audit team in the offending factory, likely within 24 hours.”

/ The brand does not share any policies on sourcing sustainable materials for use in their products.

/ The Loblaw code of conduct states that suppliers that provide animal products must ensure that animals are treated in accordance with government and industry-accepted guidelines for humane treatment. The brand does not disclose what these industry-accepted guidelines are.

/ Since 2011, Loblaw has completed 62 rooftop solar projects in Ontario covering stores, distribution centres and their head office. In total, 77,672 panels have been installed. It is unclear if these projects are a part of the Joe Fresh operations.

/ Loblaw’s corporate emissions for 2014 were 1,034,478 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The brand calculated emissions from its fleet and building fuel consumption, refrigerants, electricity consumption, waste and air travel.

/ We don’t have any information on what the brand is doing to: eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals, to manage pollution emitted from transport, increase the sustainability of its packaging, manage waste and recycling and reduce the impact of the end of life of its products.

/ The brand aims to complete a water footprint assessment of operations. They mention that they have not met their target and will be analyzing data in 2015.

/ Loblaw intends to update its supplier code of conduct.

/ The brand aims to implement management programs in emerging markets to ensure products delivered to Canada are sourced from approved factories.

/ Loblaw intends to expand their audit compliance personnel team in emerging markets.

/ The brand does not communicate any environmental goals specifically related to Joe Fresh.

/ Loblaw provided $5,000,000 in compensation and relief efforts following the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in 2013. $3,715,000 was donated to the ILO-led trust fund that provides long-term compensation for injured workers and the families of deceased workers, $1,000,000 was donated to Save the Children Bangladesh and the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed for textile workers in Savar and $285,000 in short-term compensation was donated to provide approximately three months’ salary for Rana Plaza workers.

/ WWF-Canada and Loblaw introduced the Loblaw Water Fund in 2014. The Fund provides grants to registered charitable organizations that conserve, protect or restore freshwater habitats and the species within. Partial proceeds from the sale of 5-cent plastic shopping bags in Loblaw corporate stores and select franchised stores go towards WWF-Canada. Since 2009, Loblaw has donated $1 million annually, a total of $6 million to date, to WWF-Canada to support conservation initiatives like National Sweater Day, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and now the Loblaw Water Fund.

/ In 2015, the Globe and Mail reported that Joe Fresh was partnering with the Fashion Zone and donating $1 million to create a fashion Innovation Centre. The Joe Fresh Centre will incubate, develop and support up to 21 new fashion-inspired businesses over an 18-month period.

/ The brand does not disclose how much the CEO made in the last financial year.

/ There have been no reported management issues of scandals.

/ Loblaw implemented an initiative with their global logistics service provider to ensure product deliveries are accepted only from Loblaw approved factories. At every port of origin where Loblaw procures goods from outside of Canada or the United States, the brand’s logistics provider validates the supplier name and specific factory name and address against Loblaw’s list of approved factories. This list is updated weekly.

VOICES

MATTHEW MCCLEARN | CANADIAN BUSINESS

“The building’s collapse the following day stands among history’s worst industrial disasters, officially claiming 1,127 lives. It also exposed defects in the corporate social-responsibility machinery of Loblaw, Canada’s largest grocer.” – 6/6/2013

 

 

 

 

 

We currently source from approximately 40 factories in Bangladesh, and we believe that the economy and manufacturing communities benefit from our presence, attention and long-term commitment. Loblaw continues to work with individuals, industry, government, NGOs and the International Labour Organization (ILO) to improve the standards that will define and protect the safety of workers here forward.