Photo: Woman with fresh vegetables in a rural area of ​​Guatemala. Credit @ SALMONNEGRO-STOCK

The Farm Labor Due Diligence Initiative (FLDDI) is a Verité-led collaborative launched in 2022 to help define and support good human rights due diligence (HRDD) in global agricultural supply chains. The project centers on creation of a set of open-source tools and other resources to help companies, suppliers, producer organizations, and other stakeholders eliminate labor abuses from supply chains for global commodity crops – particularly those often produced by smallholders, such as coffee, cocoa, sugarcane, tobacco, cotton, and palm oil.

Verité established the FLDDI in recognition of the fact that agricultural commodity supply chains often depend on highly vulnerable workers and producers – making them high-risk for serious human rights issues like child labor and forced labor – and yet can be very difficult to extend human rights oversight to for end users. Drawing on our extensive experience helping longtime partners like Philip Morris International and Mars Incorporated drive improvements in their own commodity supply chains, Verité is pulling together insights and innovations through the FLDDI to clarify what socially responsible business practice looks like in agriculture, for supply chain actors and regulators alike.

The project is being implemented by a technical working group of Verité staffers and select external collaborators from private sector and civil society, and is supported by a larger advisory council of leading companies and civil society organizations who provide guidance on priorities and approaches as the materials are developed.

Key efforts of the FLDDI in 2022 have included:

  • Development of a comprehensive human rights due diligence framework, with 6 “elements” based on the OECD Due Diligence Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and associated key “components” of each element;
  • Creation of an annotated catalog of known existing human rights due diligence tools relevant for agricultural supply chains, and mapping of a curated subset of these tools to the appropriate HRDD elements and components;
  • Gap analysis of existing HRDD tools to identify needs for resources to be developed by the project;
  • Creation of overview tools for each HRDD element, with definitions and maturity frameworks for each associated component;
  • Creation of a glossary of key HRDD terminology;
  • Design of an interactive project website to present project materials through an easy-to-navigate interface, slated for launch in Q1 of 2023.