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Benetton Group makes £700k Rana Plaza payment

Italian fashion group Benetton has contributed a further $1.1m (£736,000) to the Rana Plaza Trust Fund.

The latest payment means the business has given $1.6m (£1.07m) to the victims and families affected by the tragedy, following on from an initial payment of $500,000 (£335,000) to Bangaldeshi NGO Brac before the fund was established in January 2014.

Benetton made the announcement this week, ahead of the second anniversary of the disaster on April 24. Two years ago, the eight-storey Rana Plaza building in Dhaka collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people and injuring 2,500 others.

Benetton was one of 29 brands connected to companies operating in the Rana Plaza building, alongside Primark, Mango and Bonmarché .

A report by professional services group PwC calculated the amount to be paid by each firm based on its commercial association with Rana Plaza. In total it found $30m (£20m) should be paid into the fund, $550,000 (£368,000) of which from Benetton.

Benetton Group chief executive Marco Airoldi said: “While there is no real redress for the tragic loss of life we hope this robust and clear mechanism for calculating compensation could be used more widely. For this reason, we decided to make the PwC report publicly available to all stakeholders”.

Avedis Seferian, president and chief executive of supply chain NGO Wrap, which backed the PwC report, added: “With a tragedy of this scale, no financial compensation can ever really be enough, but we welcome Benetton’s decision to pay more than its calculated share of the fund based on the report published by PwC.”

In April 2014 protestors gathered outside Benetton’s Oxford Circus store, handing out flyers that claimed the company had “refused to pay any compensation to the people killed and their families”.

Activists and celebrities, including model Lily Cole and ethical fashion supporter Livia Firth, will use the anniversary to call on the fashion industry to increase transparency and promote human rights in the supply chain via Fashion Revolution Day.

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