FOOD

Themes Key Findings

2018 Food & Beverage

The 38 Food and Beverage companies were assessed across the benchmark's seven themes, which were developed to capture the key areas where companies need to take action to eradicate forced labor from their supply chains: commitment and governance; traceability and risk assessment; purchasing practices; recruitment; worker voice; monitoring; and remedy. There are a total of 23 indicators across the seven themes. Each theme is weighted equally and determines the company's overall benchmark score on a scale from 0 to 100.

30

Overall Score 2018 Food & Beverage
16 Theme Score

Summary of Results

Given that the agricultural sector is known to rely on seasonal workers who are often hired using third-party labor agencies and are vulnerable to exploitation, it is concerning that recruitment is the lowest scoring theme in the benchmark. Less than half of the companies in the benchmark have policies in place prohibiting worker-paid recruitment fees in their supply chains (18 out of 38). Although 13 companies identified migrant workers or recruitment practices as high risk in their supply chains, a disappointingly low number of companies have processes in place protecting migrant workers' rights and prohibiting exploitative recruitment practices. This demonstrates that while companies may identify risks, their disclosure fails to show how they are taking steps to address those risks.

Less than a quarter of the companies described their approach to recruitment in their supply chains (eight out of 38). No company discloses a policy that requires the direct employment of workers in its supply chains, thereby eliminating the risks associated with employment agencies. Only five of 38 companies disclose that they require employment and/or recruitment agencies to adhere to policies upholding labor rights. Nestlé and Kellogg make clear that recruitment and employment agencies used by suppliers are required to adhere to their supply chain standard, which prohibits forced labor.

Companies do not disclose information on the recruitment agencies used in their supply chains. While some disclose membership in the Leadership Group for Responsible Recruitment, which requires members to map their supply chains for recruitment risks, companies do not publish the outcomes of such mappings.

Eighteen out of 38 companies disclose a policy prohibiting worker-paid recruitment fees in their supply chains. Looking at the companies benchmarked in both 2016 and 2018, this is an improvement as the number of companies with policies in place prohibiting recruitment fees has increased from seven to ten. However, this is still notably low, given that migrant labor is inherent in the agricultural sector and, therefore, a risk all companies in the benchmark should be addressing. Moreover, despite having this policy in place, half of these companies (nine out of 38) fail to specify who must be responsible for bearing recruitment-related costs.

Additionally, only four out of 38 companies disclose a policy that requires fees to be reimbursed to workers (Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Unilever, and Walmart). No company gave evidence that fees were reimbursed to workers in their supply chains.

Less than a quarter of the companies (eight out of 38) disclose that they are taking steps to ensure that labor practices of employment and recruitment agencies in their supply chains are monitored. Furthermore, only six out of 38 companies explain how they support ethical recruitment in their supply chains (for example, by having screening and selection processes in place for recruitment agencies, by supporting the development of ethical recruitment schemes, or by working with suppliers to provide capacity-building for recruitment agencies). Coca-Cola, Kellogg, and Unilever provide guidance and training for suppliers on the subject of ethical recruitment and discuss their collaboration with AIM-PROGRESS.

Less than a third of the companies (12 out of 38) take steps to ensure that migrant workers in their supply chains understand the terms and conditions of their recruitment and employment. Policies more frequently prohibit passport retention: 21 out of 38 companies disclose a policy prohibiting the withholding of workers' identification documents. Both Unilever and Wilmar additionally report instances when they have returned passports to suppliers' workers, but otherwise, company efforts tend to be limited to having policy provisions in their codes, without explaining how these are implemented in practice.

While policies protecting migrant workers' rights are few, examples of how migrant workers' rights are protected in practice are even more scarce. Only two out of 38 companies, Unilever and Kellogg, give examples of how they have worked with suppliers to ensure that migrant workers' rights are protected. Kellogg discloses that it has partnered with one of its Turkish apple suppliers to gather data on migrant workers.

Recruitment Approach

The company has a policy that requires direct employment in its supply chains, and requires employment and recruitment agencies in its supply chains to uphold workers' fundamental rights and freedoms. The company discloses information on the recruitment agencies used by its suppliers.

The company: (1) has a policy that requires direct employment in its supply chains; (2) requires employment and recruitment agencies in its supply chains to uphold workers' fundamental rights and freedoms (those articulated in the International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work), including the elimination of forced labor; and (3) discloses information on the recruitment agencies used by its suppliers

Low: 0
High: 45
5

Recruitment Fees

In its relevant policies or standards, the company requires that no fees be charged during any recruitment process in its supply chains-the costs of recruitment should be borne not by the worker but by the employer ("Employer Pays Principle"). In the event that it discovers that fees have been paid by workers in its supply chains, the company ensures that such fees are reimbursed to the workers.

The company: (1) requires that no worker in its supply chains should pay for a job-the costs of recruitment should be borne not by the worker but by the employer ("Employer Pays Principle"); and (2) ensures that such fees are reimbursed to the workers, in the event that it discovers that fees have been paid by workers in its supply chains.

Low: 0
High: 75
20

Monitoring and Ethical Recruitment

The company ensures employment and/or recruitment agencies used in its supply chains are monitored to assess and address risks of forced labor and human trafficking, and provides details of how it supports ethical recruitment in its supply chains.

The company: (1) ensures employment and/or recruitment agencies used in its supply chains are monitored to assess and address risks of forced labor and human trafficking; and (2) provides details of how it supports ethical recruitment in its supply chains.

Low: 0
High: 100
16

Migrant Worker Rights

To avoid the exploitation of migrant workers in its supply chains, the company ensures migrant workers understand the terms and conditions of their recruitment and employment, and also understand their rights. It further ensures its suppliers refrain from restricting workers' movement, and that migrant workers are not discriminated against, and not retaliated against, when they raise grievances. The company provides evidence of how it works with suppliers to ensure migrant workers' rights are respected.

The company: (1) ensures migrant workers understand the terms and conditions of their recruitment and employment, and also understand their rights; (2) ensures its suppliers refrain from restricting workers' movement, including through the retention of passports or other personal documents against workers' will; (3) ensures migrant workers are not discriminated against, and not retaliated against, when they raise grievances; and (4) provides evidence of how it works with suppliers to ensure migrant workers' rights are respected.

Low: 0
High: 75
23

Ethical Recruitment: Notable Example

The Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola discloses that it is co-chairing AIM-PROGRESS' work stream on implementing principles on responsible recruitment, including raising awareness among suppliers and industry peers, conducting training, and sharing best practices. Coca-Cola reports two supplier events in Dubai and Thailand, where the principles on responsible recruitment have been implemented.

Recommended Action

Recruitment Fees

Ensure that no fees are charged to workers in supply chains and incorporate the Employer Pays Principle into policies to ensure that the costs of recruitment are borne by the employer and not the worker. Require fees to be repaid when charged and publish evidence that these policies are being implemented.