Sportlifestyle company PUMA for the first time produced footballs under fair trade conditions in order to endorse a campaign focussing on the prevention of juvenile delinquency in South Africa. In cooperation with the Bavarian government and the Internationales Katholisches Missionswerk missio, PUMA will provide 5,000 footballs – bearing the fair trade certification mark – for the initiative “Club der guten Hoffnung” (Club of Good Hope) to be used in football games at Bavarian and South African schools. For this purpose, PUMA’s long-term football supplier Ali Trading in Pakistan was monitored for compliance to the Fairtrade standards and was certified by the independent certification organization FLO-CERT.
“We are pleased that we can support this initiative with PUMA footballs sporting the fair trade mark,“ said Horst Widmann, Vice President of PUMA. “The football games will bring young people together in a peaceful way and will help curtail youth violence. At the same time, we further improved the working conditions in our supplier’s factory in Pakistan.”
Horst Widmann handed over the fair trade ball to the President of missio in Munich, Pater Eric Englert (osa), who said: “I am sure the young football players will be very delighted about the ball. The passion for football truly connects people. Pastoral care, educational programmes and sports all contribute to social integration of unprivileged young people in South Africa.”
PUMA has carried out audits at its suppliers’ factories for more than ten years, monitoring strict adherence to its Code of Conduct. This guarantees that the manufacturers comply with criteria such as respecting human rights, freedom of association, prohibition of child labour as well as the payment of minimum wages. The PUMA auditors also monitor the employees’ working hours, the overtime accrued, the contractual rates of pay, pay rolls, employment contracts, health and safety standards in the workplace as well as the appropriate disposal of waste.
The independent fair trade certification mark guarantees in addition that the PUMA manufacturer in Pakistan receives a premium of 10 percent of the ball’s purchasing price, which the firm has to invest – after a democratic vote among the factory’s management, workers and employees – into social, economic or ecological development projects on the premises.
The PUMA football was publicly launched on November 17, 2008 at the Bavarian Ministry of Education in Munich during the presentation of the initiative “Club der guten Hoffnung”. The event was attended by representatives of the different charity organisations, Secretary of State for Education Dr. Marcel Huber, PUMA Vice President Horst Widmann and other corporate representatives, politicians and sportsmen.
PUMA also presented the ball at its annual stakeholder meeting which took place at the Banz Monastery at the same time. PUMA employees discussed sustainability, sourcing, environmental and social issues with the President of the Fair Labor Association, Auret van Heerden, the author of the book „The China Price: The true cost of Chinese competitive advantage, Alexandra Harney as well as with representatives from Oxfam, Misereror, Fair Wear Foundation, Carbon Disclosure Project and the Global Reporting Initiative.
The two-day meeting of PUMA employees with stakeholders from different organisations, that have different goals, has led to many productive results in the past. Numerous initiatives emerged from the open and transparent dialogues and discussions and made an impact on PUMA’s sustainability strategy.