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Response to the SÜDWIND report on working conditions in supplier factories in the Fujian province, China

Herzogenaurach, 22 September 2010 – In August 2010, the German organisation SÜDWIND – Institut für Ökonomie und Ökumene (Institute for Economics and Ecumenism), published a study titled "Labour protection - a subject of German-Chinese partnership agreements?". It contained case studies including supplier factories of the adidas Group in the province Fujian, China. Framas as a footwear component supplier and Ching Luh as a footwear supplier of the adidas Group were named in these case studies. While positively commenting on the supplier factory Framas, the study claims poor compliance with international labour standards and local labour laws in some areas at Ching Luh.

As an international company we welcome dialogue with organisations of civil society and appreciate information from organisations and individuals concerning working conditions in supplier factories if this is based on concrete and proven facts. We take this as an opportunity to carry out comprehensive investigations in the supplier factories to verify any issues and be able to address them accordingly to the factory management.

We regret that SÜDWIND was not willing to inform the adidas Group about the compilation of this study in advance or to ask the adidas Group for assistance in their investigations. In addition, SÜDWIND refused to reveal any information on the author and the genesis of the study. This would have enabled us to contact the people concerned, with absolute assurance of the necessary confidentiality, and to specifically analyse and verify the results of the study. According to SÜDWIND, the report is based exclusively on a small number of interviews with workers (ten interviews per supplier factory). The supplier factory Ching Luh has more than 18,000 employees, Framas has 510 employees.

Based on the information published in the study, we carried out comprehensive investigations in the supplier factories. These included intensive talks with the factory management, interviews with workers and a thorough examination of documents. The results of these investigations showed that the majority of the allegations against Ching Luh published in the study could not be verified. In those areas where we did indeed find violation of the adidas Group's supply chain code of conduct in the course of our investigations we have agreed on respective corrective action plans with the factory management.

The detailed results of our investigation in the supplier factory Ching Luh can be found in the document posted on the top of this page.