EPCH to tie up with IKEA to train Indian handicraft makers
New Delhi: The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) on Wednesday said it will soon tie-up with Swedish furniture-maker IKEA to train Indian handicraft manufacturers, so that they can adopt international best practices.
"We will soon tie-up with IKEA to start a programme called Next Gen in India," EPCH Executive Director Rakesh Kumar told reporters here.
Through this programme, about 200 exporters would be trained to ensure that they follow the international best practices related to labour laws that prohibits child labour, he said.
The US and European buyers emphasis that the products which they source from India should not be produced using child or forced labour, he added.
In April this year, a EPCH delegation visited Sweden to hold talks with IKEA officials in this regard, the council said.
It said that social compliance is an issue particularly for small exporters.
IKEA plans to invest 1.5 billion euro (Rs.10,500 crore) in India to set up 25 stores.
"More and more vendors want to offer their products to IKEA as the domestic retail market also has huge potential," he said.
At present, IKEA source carpets, furniture and handicraft from India worth about USD 450 million, Kumar said.
Last month, the government had tweaked sourcing norms for FDI exceeding 51 percent in single-brand retail and diluted the previous condition of sourcing 30 percent of requirements "mandatorily" from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India by stating that sourcing should be done "preferably from MSMEs".