Exclusive Exclusive: Textile Discounter KiK Incentivizes Higher Standards for Asian Producers

German textile discounter KiK will facilitate low interest loans for its Asian producers if they meet international labor and environmental standards, the company told Handelsblatt. KiK is cooperating with the International Finance Corporation, a subsidiary of the World Bank, which has made $10 million (€9 million) available for the program. “For us, cooperation with the IFC is a milestone on the way to improving production conditions,” Ansgar Lohmann, the head of corporate social responsibility at KiK, told Handelsblatt. The higher the standards among KiK’s Asian producers, the lower the interest rate they will receive, according to Mr. Lohmann. The program will start in China at the end of July. “We want to gain experience in China because that’s our largest supply market,” Mr. Lohmann said. Under the plan, 95 percent of all KiK suppliers in China will be audited according to international standards by the end of 2017. The program will gradually expand to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Myanmar and Cambodia. KiK was the target of international criticism after 260 people died in a factory fire at one of its producers in Pakistan. According to witnesses, the windows were barred and emergency exits locked. The factory delivered 70 percent of its production to KiK. Read the full story in Handelsblatt Global Edition Monday Picture Source: Marius Becker/DPA