The Farm Labor Due Diligence Initiative is a Verité-led collaboration with companies and civil society organizations to define good practices and provide resources to help companies, suppliers, and other stakeholders eliminate labor abuses from global agricultural supply chains through comprehensive due diligence.

Understanding Farm Labor Due Diligence

Labor rights due diligence in agriculture is not inherently different from other forms of human rights due diligence (HRDD). The framework used in the Verité Farm Labor Due Diligence (FLDD) Toolkit aligns with and builds on the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Business Conduct, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the OECD-FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains, and other guiding HRDD touchstones.

The framework comprises six top-level elements, each with supporting components. The elements are:

    • Embed Human Rights in Business Management Systems
    • Assess Human Rights Risks & Harms
    • Cease, Prevent & Mitigate Human Rights Risks  & Harms
    • Track & Improve Human Rights Performance
    • Remediate Human Rights Harms
    • Report on Progress
Conceptualizing Farm Labor Due Diligence

Implementation of comprehensive due diligence can be challenging when the raw materials being sourced are traded as global commodities or highly dependent on artisanal or smallholder production, as is common for agricultural products like coffee, cocoa, palm oil, cotton, tobacco, and sugarcane. The HRDD framework in the Verité Farm Labor Due Diligence Toolkit has been tailored to the characteristics of global agricultural commodity supply chains, and includes specific guidance for suppliers in the “first mile” from farm level to first point of crop aggregation.

Implementation Guidance for Companies at Different Stages of HRDD Maturity

 

The FLDD Maturity Benchmarking Tool describes maturity pathways from “Basic” to “Established” to “Leadership” for each component of the six elements in the Verité Farm Labor Due Diligence Toolkit framework. Companies can use the tool to evaluate their existing HRDD system maturity, identify gaps and opportunities, and prioritize efforts and investments.

Detailed guidance, including actions to take to advance in maturity for each component, is provided in the full Verité Farm Labor Due Diligence Toolkit (forthcoming September 2024). The FLDD Toolkit also provides specific guidance for suppliers in the “first mile” from farm level to first point of crop aggregation.

FLDDI Maturity Benchmarking Tool

 

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FLDD Toolkit: Maturity Benchmarking Tool

The Maturity Benchmarking Tool describes developmental pathways from “Basic” to “Leadership” for each component of the elements in the Verité Farm Labor Due Diligence framework. Companies can use the tool to evaluate their existing HRDD system maturity, identify gaps and opportunities, and prioritize efforts and investments.

About the Initiative

Verité’s Farm Labor Due Diligence Initiative aims to provide guidance for companies to implement effective labor and human rights due diligence (HRDD) systems in their extended agricultural supply chains. The Initiative is a Verité-led collaboration with companies and civil society organizations to define good practices and create resources to help companies, suppliers, and other stakeholders eliminate labor abuses from global agricultural supply chains.

Verité committed to create the Farm Labor Due Diligence Initiative as an  Action Pledge  for the ILO’s International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour.

International Year for Elimination of Child Labour logo

The effort started with support from close collaborators including Philip Morris International, Mars, Incorporated, and other Verité partners with extensive agricultural supply chains and ambitious human rights programs and expanded to include more collaborators in FLDD Advisory Council.

About the Work to Date

In the first phase, the Farm Labor Due Diligence Initiative has focused on:

  • Creating a council of companies and civil society organizations helping us to define best practices in labor and human rights due diligence in agriculture;
  • Developing a comprehensive HRDD framework, with 6 “elements” based on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) implementation guidance, and key “components” associated with each element; and
  • Creating an overview of tools for each HRDD element, with definitions, maturity frameworks, and associated action steps for each component.

About the Work Ahead

The FLDDI is an ongoing project, and in the next phase, the Initiative will focus on:

  • Disseminating the guidance and resources created to a wide range of potential users, including companies, civil society organizations, multistakeholder initiatives, governmental organizations, and farmer organizations;
  • Supporting companies to apply the guidance for specific agricultural commodities and human rights topics, and for different kinds of supply chain actors such as suppliers, producers, and smallholders;
  • Expanding our impact by engaging with current discussions about mandatory HRDD guidelines and policy frameworks, to ensure that robust and proven approaches become the norm in agricultural supply chains;
  • Piloting newly created resources in different supply chains and regions; and
  • Designing an interactive website to present project materials through an easy-to-navigate interface.

About the Advisory Council

To guide this Initiative, Verité has assembled an Advisory Council of private sector and civil society partners and technical experts to provide input and guidance on the creation of a due diligence framework adapted to agriculture. The Advisory Council helps to ensure that the resources created and recommended 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 Council consists of:

  • Cargill
  • ECOM
  • Jacobs Douwe Egberts
  • Fairtrade
  • Mars, Inc.
  • McDonald’s
  • Philip Morris International
  • Rainforest Alliance
Farm Labor Due Diligence Toolkit_Coffee Harvest
Farm Labor Due Diligence Toolkit_Cotton Harvesting