Sugarcane is one of the largest agricultural commodities in the world. It can be found in everyday food and beverage items such as cereals, yogurts, soft drinks, and flavored coffees. It is typically manually harvested, often by migrants and rural workers, with little education. Sugarcane workers face hazardous working conditions, long working hours in isolated workplaces, and low wages and even forced labor.
Today we published a case study examining how 10 food and beverage companies are addressing forced labor in their sugarcane supply chains.
Food and beverage companies face major risks in sourcing sugarcane, given this commodity has been found to be produced with forced labor, particularly in Brazil and India, the two largest sugarcane producers in the world.
This case study comes on the heels of our 2016 food and beverage benchmark which found a lack of transparency and adequate action to address forced labor in commodity supply chains such as sugarcane. Our sugarcane case study found that while some companies have assessed risks and set targets to eradicate forced labor, all companies evaluated need to improve significantly, particularly in providing grievance mechanisms and remedy for workers in their supply chains.