The Australian company Bottles of Australia (BoA) has recently obtained WRAP certification, an accreditation given by WRAP, an independent organisation, to attest that particular factories honour provisions relating to the safety, treatment and conditions of workers. Bottles of Australia is the first Australian company to be given WRAP certification for one of its individual factories. Bottles of Australia, a supplier of accessories to global sporting brands, completed a five step process to obtain the WRAP certification. WRAP currently certifies thousands of factories the world over, verifying in detail that the factories which apply for certification are compliant with local and international standards of humane practices.
WRAP genesis was in the mid 1990’s, the organisation was formed to address the proliferation of sweatshop like conditions in factories the world over, and in response to considerable media coverage of the trending topic. The American Apparel and Footwear Association (then the American Apparel Manufacturer’s Association) recognised the threat posed to the clothing industry as a whole by the disturbing trend toward sweatshop like conditions and began to organise an industry wide response.
Following the American Apparel and Footwear Association’s acknowledgement and addressment of the threats posed to the garment and footwear industry, a task force was formed to investigate areas of concern and to pass recommendations. The taskforce received input from a wide variety of stakeholders, from a range of sectors, being government to academic, to the not for profit and those within the industry. The task force tendered their findings, recommending the creation of an independent third party organisation free from outside influences.
WRAP was established during the tail end of the 1990’s, and went on to be incorporated in 2000. WRAP awards its certification to ‘individual production units’, meaning individual factories involved in the manufacture of mainly apparel, footwear and related products. Internationally, over two thousand factories are presently certified by WRAP.
Mr Anton Pemmer, Director, Bottles of Australia, and Rosemary Pemmer, Customer Development, Bottles of Australia, pictured with former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, attending an Australian business breakfast event, 7th of September, 2015. Mr Abbott, seen holding the WRAP certificate issued, discussed Bottles of Australia’s recent WRAP certification with Mr and Mrs Pemmer.
As delineated over the organisation’s website, WRAP adheres to the following twelve guiding principles.
1. Compliance with Laws and Workplace Regulations
Facilities will comply with laws and regulations in all locations where they conduct business.
2. Prohibition of Forced Labour
Facilities will not use involuntary, forced or trafficked labour.
3. Prohibition of Child Labour
Facilities will not hire any employee under the age of 14 or under the minimum age established by law for employment, whichever is greater, or any employee whose employment would interfere with compulsory schooling.
4. Prohibition of Harassment or Abuse
Facilities will provide a work environment free of supervisory or co-worker harassment or abuse, and free of corporal punishment in any form.
5. Compensation and Benefits
Facilities will pay at least the minimum total compensation required by local law, including all mandated wages, allowances & benefits.
6. Hours of Work
Hours worked each day, and days worked each week, shall not exceed the limitations of the country’s law. Facilities will provide at least one day off in every seven-day period, except as required to meet urgent business needs.
7. Prohibition of Discrimination
Facilities will employ, pay, promote, and terminate workers on the basis of their ability to do the job, rather than on the basis of personal characteristics or beliefs.
8. Health and Safety
Facilities will provide a safe and healthy work environment. Where residential housing is provided for workers, facilities will provide safe and healthy housing.
9. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Facilities will recognize and respect the right of employees to exercise their lawful rights of free association and collective bargaining.
Facilities will comply with environmental rules, regulations and standards applicable to their operations, and will observe environmentally conscious practices in all locations where they operate.
11. Customs Compliance
Facilities will comply with applicable customs laws, and in particular, will establish and maintain programs to comply with customs laws regarding illegal transhipment of finished products.
Facilities will maintain facility security procedures to guard against the introduction of non-manifested cargo into outbound shipments (i.e. drugs, explosives biohazards and/or other contraband).
WRAP, also as delineated over the organisation’s website, is not a ‘customer facing organisation’, meaning WRAP certification is not physical attached to the physical products created by the respectively endorsed factories. This is important as WRAP endorses the factories wherein relevant products are manufactured, not the brands and companies which then sell the products on-masse.
Bottles of Australia, manufactures mainly B2B products, producing consignment orders in its own factory, using raw materials which either meet or exceed national and international food safety requirements. The raw materials used by Bottles of Australia are compliant with legislated requirements, and the premises wherein particular components are manufactured are now certified as compliant with WRAP’s areas of concern and oversight.
The aim of BoA is to manufacture products that are safe to use, exceed the expectations of sporting professionals and to be socially compliant.
Major global sporting brands have been using BoA as their choice of manufacturer since 1992. Now with WRAP compliance this will only enhance their Canberra operation and open up new export opportunities with both existing and new clients.
Bottles of Australia’s (BOA) products are available through distributors and via the company’s website.