Labor and Human Rights
Cargill is committed to protecting human rights in our supply chains. This expectation is articulated in our Human Rights Commitment. 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. We also partner with suppliers to positively influence 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. Listed below are some examples of Cargill’s actions to improve labor and human rights protections in our palm oil supply chain.
Cargill joined Golden-Agri Resources, Musim Mas, Sime Darby, and Wilmar in signing the Decent Rural Living Initiative in 2018. Convened by Forum for the Future, the initiative seeks to improve the protection of human and labor rights of workers in the agriculture sector and empower rural communities by establishing cross-industry and stakeholder partnerships to address barriers and going beyond compliance. We continue to advance work within the Decent Rural Living Initiative by collaborating with growers, consultants, trade unions and NGOs to identify priority areas and potential solutions.
Cargill participates in several initiatives to better understand and address labor and human rights challenges in the Malaysian palm oil supply chain:
- Cargill joined with industry partners to commission an assessment of migrant labor in the palm oil sector. The assessment, conducted by Embode, looked at migration of workers into Malaysia, especially those coming from Nepal.
- Cargill worked with Earthworm (formerly The Forest Trust) on a project focused on ethical recruitment to prevent labor exploitation and human trafficking in the palm supply chain. Tools for suppliers were developed based on insights from the assessment so that suppliers can more effectively analyze and adapt their approach to worker recruitment.
- Cargill also is participating in a program led by a customer and a labor rights organization focused on assessing labor conditions in the Malaysian palm oil sector, including issues related to labor and human rights, compensation and hours, and health and safety.
We support the work being done to address labor and human rights issues by governments and organizations, including the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), RSPO’s Human Rights Working Group and Earthworm (formerly The Forest Trust) “No Exploitation” standard.
Under the RSPO Principles & Criteria, Cargill works in its own plantations 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. Learn more about our efforts at Cargill’s Plantations.
We work with stakeholders to share our experiences and the challenges we face in monitoring issues in our supply chain in order to develop practical guidelines.