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Eksportens Code of Conduct

Gjenbruksvarer i Afrika

Code of Conduct for clients purchasing used goods

Fretex International is owned by the Salvation Army in Sweden and Norway. Our mission is to contribute to a sustainable society by actively working for reuse of clothes and textiles.

We sell all the surplus goods that our suppliers do not sell in their stores in their home country. The Code of Conduct applies to all clients buying these used goods and our objective is that the downstream handling of our goods is in line with our overall mission of sustainability by adhering to the following principles:

·         ethical handling of goods through the entire value chain

·         minimising the remaining waste fraction

We view these principles as a fundamental part of our responsibility towards the people and organizations that donate goods to us.

For this reason we require all our customers to comply with our Code of Conduct. We view the requirements as a basis for our cooperation and expect customers to continuously work to ensure that the handling of our goods takes place in compliance with the ethical standards as defined here. Further, we encourage clients to pass on the same ethical standards towards their own clients. In cases where our direct customer is a sales agent this is a requirement. The standards in this Code of Conduct will be verified by site visits and audits and we expect a collaborative approach from clients. Fretex International reserve the right to make third party and/or unannounced visits to monitor the compliance with the requirements.

Transparency in reselling of donated used goods

The people and organisations that donate goods to our suppliers expect information about the destination and use of their donations. Also, knowledge about handling and final usage or disposal of the goods is needed as a basis to our ambition to manage donations in the best possible way. We therefore require clients to Fretex International to regularly report:

·         sorting fractions for received goods.

·         downstream destinations weights of sorted goods

·         waste fractions and treatment of remains

The Transparency Protocol template (appendix) must be used.

Standards in the Customer Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct defines standards which Fretex International expect customers to comply with as a minimum. The basis for the Code of Conduct is established international agreements, such as the ILO eight core conventions defined in the Fundamental Principles of Rights at Work, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Global Compact. As a general rule the client must follow national laws. When a relevant national law and one of the standards as defined in this Code of Conduct address the same issue, the more stringent of the two shall be applied.

Working conditions

1. Employment is freely chosen.

There shall be no use of forced, including bonded or prison, labour (ILO Conventions 29 and 105). Nor shall workers be required to lodge ”deposits” or their identity papers with their employer.

2. There is no discrimination in employment.

Equality of opportunity and treatment regardless of race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, nationality, social origin or other distinguishing characteristic shall be provided (ILO conventions 100 and 111).

3. Child labour is not used.

There shall be no use of child labour. Only workers above the age of 15 years or above the compulsory school leaving age shall be engaged (ILO Convention 138). Adequate transitional economic assistance and appropriate educational opportunities shall be provided to any replaced child workers.

4. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected.

The right of all workers to form and join trade unions and to bargain collectively shall be recognised (ILO Conventions 87 and 98). Workers’ representatives shall not be the subject of discrimination and shall have access to all workplaces necessary to enable them to carry out their representation functions (ILO Convention 135 and Recommendation 143). Employers shall adopt a positive approach towards the activities of trade unions and an open attitude towards their organisational activities. If these rights are limited by law the employer shall facilitate and under no circumstances hinder parallel means for independent and free association and bargaining.

5. Minimum wages are paid.

Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week shall meet at least legal or industry minimum standards and always be sufficient to meet basic needs of workers and their families. Deductions from wages for disciplinary measures shall not be permitted nor shall any deductions from wages not provided for by national law be permitted without the expressed permission of the worker concerned. All workers shall be provided with written and understandable information about the conditions in respect of wages before they enter employment and of the particulars of their wages for the pay period concerned each time that they are paid.

6. Hours of work are not excessive.

Hours of work shall comply with applicable laws and industry standards. Workers shall not on a regular basis be required to work in excess of 48 hours per week and shall be provided with at least one day off for every 7 day period (ILO Convention 1 and 14). Overtime shall not exceed 12 hours per week, shall not be demanded on a regular basis and shall always be compensated at a minimum in accordance with current legislation.

7. The employment relationship is established.

Obligations to employees under labour or social security laws and regulations arising from the regular employment relationship shall not be avoided through the use of labour­only contracting arrangements, or through apprenticeship schemes where there is no real intent to impart skills or provide regular employment. Younger workers shall be given the opportunity to participate in education and training programs.

8. Safe working conditions

A safe and hygienic working environment shall be provided, and best occupational health and safety practice shall be promoted including proactive measures to avoid health and safety risks. The customer shall ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations relating to health and safety. Records of work incidents[1] and accidents including corrective actions shall be maintained. Temperature, lighting, noise and air quality in the workplace shall follow applicable regulations.

Introductory training shall include relevant information on health and safety aspects of daily work. Workers shall be given safety training before operating machines and other equipment. The customer shall ensure all machines and other equipment used have the necessary and required safety devices to prevent work injuries. Safety instructions and/or warning signs shall be clearly and visibly posted adjacent to machines and at entrances where such machines or equipment are used. If necessary, Personal Protective Equipment for head, eyes, hands, feet, hearing, body and breathing shall be provided to workers free of charge.

The customer shall ensure that other hazards in the workplace of an immediate nature are avoided, e g unsafe storage of goods or hazardous electrical wires. First aid equipment shall be adequately stocked and available to workers during all shifts. Each floor and each building shall have at least one clearly marked first-aid box. The customer should give first aid training to an adequate number of workers in the relation to the total number of worker. Drinking water shall be provided as well as adequate toilet and washing facilities for both female and male workers.

Physical abuse, threats of physical abuse, unusual punishments or discipline, sexual and other harassment, and intimidation by the employer is strictly prohibited.

9. Fire safety is promoted

The customer shall ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations relating to fire protection. An adequate number of workers shall be trained to use the firefighting equipment in each work area. All workers shall be made aware of basic safety issues before starting work through introductory training.

The customer shall have appropriate firefighting equipment, which shall be easily accessible and visible. It shall be maintained, kept unlocked and inspected yearly.

Emergency exits and routes shall be adequate in number and placement to ensure a fast and safe evacuation of all workers, a minimum recommendation is two independent emergency exits per working area. Emergency exits and access routes shall be free from obstruction and marked with illuminated signs.

The customer shall have a working and adequate evacuation alarm. The customer shall perform evacuation drills at least once every 12 months and records of evacuation drills shall be maintained.


10. Laws and regulations are implemented

Customers shall comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations and have routines in place to ensure that legislation is up to date and implemented.

11. Minimise waste and maximise reuse

Customers should strive as far as possible to follow the principles in the waste hierarchy[2] by in turn reusing as much as possible of the purchased used goods. We encourage customers to strive to recycle goods that cannot be reused. The ambition is to keep the final waste fraction as small as possible. Weights of different waste fractions shall be reported on a regular basis, using the Transparency Protocol template.

12. Safe handling of hazardous waste[3]

Any hazardous waste that by accident is included in the second hand goods shall be collected and sorted in relevant fractions by the customer. A licensed waste management company must be contracted to take care of hazardous waste.

Sound business and transparency

13. Business ethics

Bribery and corruption are not accepted Customers shall not offer improper gifts or other advantages as an inducement to influence decisions or actions, in the conduct of business. Customer representatives shall not use their position to gain improper personal benefits, including both financial and non-financial advantages. (United Nations Convention against Corruption). Applicable taxes and fees, e g custom duty, licenses and VAT shall always be paid according to national laws and regulations. The client shall have company policies and routines in places to support business ethics.

Transport of goods

14. Reducing environmental impact

The client shall consider the environmental impact of the transport of reused goods. Measures should be taken to minimize emissions from transport like maximizing fill ratio of trucks and avoiding running empty vehicles. Clients should when possible use sea or rail transport and prioritize low-emission vehicles for road transport.

15. Sound transport

The same general working condition standards as specified in this Code of Conduct are valid for drivers, with the exception of applicable national regulations and trade agreements.  Drivers are entitled to breaks and resting hours that are legally required. If no legal requirements are in place, at least one break per day and shift of 30 minutes or more shall be provided.

Adequate measures to follow legal obligations for road safety shall be implemented to ensure drivers are rested and sober and vehicles are controlled to be safe.

[1] An incident is an event in the workplace that could have caused an accident.

[2] The waste hierarchy is a way of prioritizing waste management options in order of their environmental impact, such as: reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery.

[3] Examples of hazardous waste is pharmaceuticals, batteries, oils and solvents. Use definitions of hazardous waste in national legislation as further reference or refer to the list of substances in the Basel Convention.

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