Seven awards for garment firms | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 25, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 25, 2013

Seven awards for garment firms

From left, Kyle F Kelhofer, IFC's country manager for Bangladesh; Olaf Handloegten, country director for GIZ; Anna Heringer, Loeb fellow at Graduate School of Design at Harvard University; Magnus Schmid, programme coordinator for GIZ; Shariful Islam, founder of Bangladesh Brand Forum; Mrinal Sircar, programme manager for IFC; and Syed Ferhat Anwar, chief adviser for Bangladesh Brand Forum, pose at the social and environmental excellence awards ceremony at Radisson Hotel in Dhaka yesterday. Photo: Concito

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The German government and Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) yesterday gave seven awards to garment factories in recognition of their outstanding performance in compliance and environmental protection.
The Social and Environmental Excellence Award 2012 -- an initiative of BBF and GIZ, the German government's international development activities arm -- was given in three broad categories of social compliance, innovative idea and environmental standards.
“If you want to be the best, you should not only think about profit margins, but be more responsible as well,” said Albrecht Conze, German ambassador to
Saiham Knit Composite Ltd and Fakir Apparels Ltd were awarded in the social compliance category.
Saiham Knit Composite was toasted for its outstanding compliance in the health and safety sub-category.
Fakir Apparels was felicitated in the sub-categories of best worker and management relationship and special benefits/benefits beyond labour law for its excellent management aptitude.
Aboni Knitwear won the award under the innovative idea category.
In the environmental standards category, Viyellatex Group and Hamza Textile were honoured.
Viyellatex Group received the award in the resource use efficiency sub-category for its environment-friendly production practices.
Hamza Textile was the factory of the year for environmental sustainability for its exceptional performance in all of the sub-categories of resource use efficiency, waste management and green innovation.
The company received a separate award in the waste management sub-category as well.
Conze said there were calls to boycott Bangladeshi garment products following the Tazreen fire incident which killed at least 112 workers.
“But we did not go to that far,” he said, adding that Germany is the second largest exporting destination for Bangladeshi garment exports after the US.
The German ambassador had special words of praise for the country's garment industry, terming its rise to be “phenomenal”.
“You should not only try to be the largest, but also the best garment exporter worldwide. I cannot see any country overtaking Bangladesh in apparel exports in near future.”
The envoy suggested Bangladesh graduate from production of basic garments to more value-added items to be more competitive globally.
“Bangladesh has become the second largest garment exporter due to the dedication of its workers and entrepreneurs, said Faruque Hassan, vice-president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).
The awards were handed out by Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at a ceremony organised by the BBF in collaboration with International Finance Corporation, BGMEA, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, and Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Social and environmental compliance has been identified as a critical area to improve on for the industry to reach its potential, and the award aims to encourage it, and, in turn, bolster the country's confidence.

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