Labor and Land Rights
Encouraging responsible labor practices
Cargill does not tolerate the use of illegal, abusive or forced labor in any of our operations anywhere in the world, and we abide by all of the laws in the countries where we operate. In Indonesia, we adhere to national laws that require those working on farms to be at least 15 years old. We also aim to exert a positive influence on labor practices on palm oil plantations owned by our suppliers.
We believe it is essential that all members of the supply chain work together with governments, local communities and NGOs to find practical solutions to labor issues while fostering responsible economic development. We are committed to doing our part to ensure fair labor practices across the supply chains we touch, and we support the work being done by governments and organizations like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to address these issues. Under the RSPO Principles & Criteria, Cargill works with accredited independent experts to conduct comprehensive and participatory social impact assessments prior to establishing new plantings or operations, or expanding existing ones. The results are then incorporated into Cargill’s planning, management and operations.
Cargill also supports ongoing initiatives, such as the RSPO’s Human Rights Working Group and The Forest Trust’s (TFT) development of “No Exploitation” standard. We are actively working with stakeholders to share our experience in our own plantations as well as share the challenges we face in monitoring issues in our supply chain, in order to develop practical guidelines.
In May 2015, Cargill joined with TFT to field test TFT’s “No Exploitation” standard at our PT Harapan Sawit Lestari plantation in West Kalimantan. TFT drafted the standard based on feedback from a number of social experts in the industry. The assessment was useful in providing insights that affirm Cargill’s robust plantation employment policies, while helping us strengthen our practices to better cater to the welfare of our employees. One such practice is identifying more optimal periods when electricity from our mills is made available to employee housing communities.
Cargill supports TFT’s objective of a draft standard to ensure plantation employees are treated fairly, and believes it is important to include other industry players, NGOs and governments to develop standards that are relevant to industry and effective in preventing labor exploitation.