Verité Launches Major New Initiative to Drive Progress on Eradication of Labor Abuses in Agricultural Supply Chains
About the Initiative
Verité is pleased to announce one of our most ambitious initiatives to date: the Farm Labor Due Diligence Toolkit. For this project, we will collaborate with leading companies and civil society partners to create an open-source toolkit to help companies, suppliers, and other stakeholders eliminate labor abuses from global agricultural supply chains.
The new toolkit will synthesize secondary research on effective due diligence approaches with learnings and innovations co-developed by Verité in the course of our intensive collaborations with Philip Morris International (PMI), Mars, Incorporated, and other Verité clients with substantial agricultural supply chains and ambitious human rights programs. The tools will be designed to be applicable in a range of agricultural sectors, including cocoa, coffee, cotton, sugarcane, palm oil, and hand-harvested produce, with particular relevance for smallholder-dependent supply chains, where driving progress on labor practices can be especially challenging.
Our goal for this project is simple: to highlight and promote approaches that are proven to work, meaningfully improving the lives of farm workers and farming families. The framework Verité helped PMI develop for the Agricultural Labor Practices (ALP) program, for example, has steadily driven down child labor levels and achieved other independently-verified improvements in labor conditions across the company’s entire tobacco sourcing footprint. PMI has made available the learnings and materials from the ALP program to Verité for integration into the toolkit, in honor of the program’s 10-year anniversary.
About the Advisory Coalition
To guide the toolkit initiative, Verité is assembling an Advisory Coalition of private-sector and civil society partners and technical experts to provide input and guidance on the selection and development of the tools to be included. The Advisory Coalition will help to ensure that the tools are as robust, practical, and scalable as possible to effectively support companies’ efforts to improve workers’ lives, and eliminate child labor, forced labor, and other labor abuses on farms in their supply chains.
This Advisory Coalition will be comprised of:
Companies with a demonstrated commitment to addressing labor issues at the farm level in their extended supply chains;
Companies that source significant volumes of key agricultural commodities, especially those predominantly produced by smallholder farmers;
Technical experts from civil society organizations that work directly in agricultural supply chains to identify, address, and prevent labor issues;
Other relevant stakeholders from worker and producer organizations.
About the Tools
Verité envisions the Farm Labor Due Diligence Toolkit being used primarily by brands, suppliers, traders, and producer organizations to provide oversight and support to farmers and other relevant stakeholders to prevent labor abuses at the farm level.
The toolkit will comprise practical, field-tested resources on topics such as (but not limited to):
Child labor and forced labor monitoring;
Farm- and community-level approaches to remediation of child labor and other labor issues;
Root cause analysis of drivers of labor issues;
Third-party verification of labor issue monitoring and remediation;
Grievance mechanisms for agricultural workforces;
Labor-related data collection, impact tracking, and reporting.