We consider human and workplace rights—as articulated
in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the
International Labour Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and
Rights at Work—to be inviolable. We take a proactive approach to respecting
these rights in every workplace of The
Where human rights issues are identified in our global value
chain, we work diligently to address them as documented by the Danish Institute
for Human Rights' Arc of Human Rights
publication. Examples of
these are listed below.
While our company does not typically purchase ingredients directly from farms, nor are we owners of sugar farms or plantations, we acknowledge that as a major buyer of several agricultural ingredients, we have a responsibility to take action and use our influence to help protect the land rights of local communities. We are committed to being part of a solution in addressing land rights issues in our supply chain. In November 2013, our Company announced a set of industry-leading commitments to protect the land rights of farmers and communities in the world’s top sugarcane-producing regions and to advance our ongoing efforts to drive transparency and accountability across our global supply chain. The commitments build on the company's Sustainable Agriculture Guiding Principles announced in July of 2013.
Our commitments include zero tolerance for land grabs, adherence to the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent, and disclosure of the top three countries and suppliers of cane sugar. In addition, we have a strategy and action plan in place that includes conducting human rights due diligence studies focused on forced and migrant labor, child labor and land rights issues in a number of key countries. The human rights due diligence studies are being conducted by third-party research and auditing firms and involve extensive local stakeholder engagement in each country. The results of the studies will give us a factual basis to engage with industry, government and NGOs to mitigate human rights impacts, as needed.
Our Human Rights Policy and Supplier Guiding Principles prohibit the use of child labor. While there is no child labor in our Company-owned operations, we are aware that child labor persists deep in supply chains, for instance at the farm level. Our Company does not typically purchase ingredients, such as sugar, directly from farms, nor are we owners of sugar farms or plantations, but as a major buyer of sugar and other agricultural ingredients, we are taking action and using our influence to help end child labor in sugar cane fields.
Our approach is both global and local. At the global level, we set corporate policy, convene experts, and engage with governments, NGOs and other companies. At the same time, we collaborate with suppliers, industry groups and local stakeholders to address the issue with farmers. In recent years, we have joined collaborative efforts in El Salvador that have dramatically reduced child labor in cane fields. We are also taking action in Honduras, Mexico, the Philippines, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and 14 other countries. Recent developments:
As part of our Little Red Schoolhouse project, we continued our work with the ILO-IPEC director for the Philippines, the government of Bukidnon province and the Sugar Industry Foundation to eliminate child labor in Bukidnon and enroll child laborers in schools Since 1997, the Little Red Schoolhouse project has built over 82 buildings benefitting nearly 51,000 public schoolchildren in remote areas of the Philippines.
We collaborated with ILO-IPEC Mexico to design and distribute a training guide discouraging the use of child labor among sugar farmers while encouraging more efficient farming practices. We also facilitated ILO-IPEC's access to several farms supplying two of our authorized sugar refineries, enabling ILO-IPEC staff to conduct appropriate interventions to address child labor.
In 2013, we completed our second round of funding to Save the Children Honduras to raise community awareness and support the Honduran Sugar Producers Association's continued efforts to reduce hazardous child labor.
As noted in the Land Rights section above, we have a strategy and action plan in place that includes conducting human rights due diligence studies focused on forced and migrant labor, child labor and land rights issues in a number of key countries. The human rights due diligence studies are being conducted by third-party research and auditing firms and involve extensive local stakeholder engagement in each country.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) is among the many stakeholders that the Company collaborates with on the studies. As part of a Collaborative Agreement, the AFT has agreed to identify local stakeholders in specific countries with expertise in education and/or addressing child labor. The AFT has also agreed to collaborate on approaches to the remediation of child labor (when it is identified) and the advancement of school attendance, including engaging with a broader group of stakeholders, as needed.
The results of the baseline studies will give us a factual basis to further engage with industry, government and NGOs to mitigate human rights impacts, as needed. (See Land Rights section for more detail.)
Country Sugar Studies
Compliance with local work hours and overtime laws is a fundamental component of our Human Rights Policy and Supplier Guiding Principles. Reducing overtime can increase employee morale and decrease quality incidents thereby improving business results and fostering a Great Place to Work. To help our bottlers and supply partners manage this issue we seek to understand the root cause and help identify solutions which can be provide win-win opportunities. In a number of countries we carefully tracked overtime to identify causes and then developed a guidance document to provide facilities with practical strategies to reduce overtime as well as real case studies to demonstrate that success is possible.
• Hours of Work Guidance
Our Company and bottling partners, like many businesses, employ contract and agency labor. There are many legitimate uses of contract labor, and we expect contract workers, through third-party providers, to continue to play an important role in our business. Through enhancements to our Supplier Guiding Principles assessments in 2012 our Company is holding more contract and agency labor suppliers accountable for the ethical treatment of these workers.
Our commitment to human and workplace rights, as well as our commitment to operating a sustainable business, compels us to respect the rights of all workers, including those not directly employed by our Company or bottling partners. We expect our personnel and our bottling partners to understand the risks associated with contract labor and to carefully manage the labor agencies engaged. We also expect them to provide training, a safe work environment and to avoid using termination practices that circumvent legal obligations.
We take a number of steps to ensure responsible engagement of the contract and agency workers we employ, including:
Every worker has a fundamental right to a safe and healthy workplace. Our Human Rights Policy demands we take responsibility for maintaining a productive workplace by working to minimize the risk of accidents, injury and exposure to health risks for all of our associates and contractors.
Details of our Workplace Safety Record are included in the Workplace Safety section of our current Sustainability Report. Following are key points
Our Human Rights Policy and Supplier Guiding Principles expressly prohibit the use of all forms of forced labor, including prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor, military labor, slave labor and human trafficking.
Our Supplier Guiding Principles (SGP) communicate our values and expectations of suppliers and emphasize the importance of responsible workplace practices that respect human rights and comply, at a minimum, with applicable environmental and local labor laws and core international conventions. The Supplier Guiding Principles reflect our commitment to respect human rights across our business system and global supply chain.
These minimum requirements are a part of all
agreements between The
The mission of gBCAT is to mobilize the expertise, resources and collective voice of its members to eliminate human trafficking and other forms of forced labor in supply chains. Other founding members include: ExxonMobil, Microsoft, Delta Air Lines, Carlson, ManpowerGroup, LexisNexis, NXP and Travelport.
In February 2012, we hosted a conference on human trafficking in labor sourcing, which was attended by more than 75 business leaders, human rights experts investors, NGOs, legal experts and others. The conference focused on exploring solutions to eliminate human trafficking in labor sourcing.
In January 2013 in Atlanta, we sponsored a panel discussion on human trafficking that was moderated by former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin. In May 2013, in conjunction with our human rights conference, we hosted a one-day multi-stakeholder meeting on human trafficking sponsored by the Institute for Human Rights and Business and Humanity United to address two key contributors to human trafficking: holding of passports and payment of recruiting fees.
Recognizing that migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking, in 2014 we reviewed our policies and due diligence activities with the aim of better protecting such workers throughout our supply chain. We publically committed to three principles related to the recruitment and employment of migrant workers:
These principles, along with our strong overall prohibition of forced labor, align with the recent Executive Order 13627 and create a framework for responsible and transparent recruitment and employment practices.
Issue Guidance: expanded guidance on specific topic areas, including Migrant Worker Recruitment and Employment practices.