Labor and Human Rights
Cargill is committed to protecting the human rights of workers, indigenous people and local communities in our supply chains as detailed in our Human Rights Commitment and our Policy on Sustainable Palm Oil and in line with international human rights principles and local applicable laws. 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 Human Rights Working Group and Earthworm No Exploitation standard. Learn more about our commitment to protect labor, employment and human rights.
Our Supplier Code of Conduct requires suppliers to: know and follow the laws that apply to them and their business; treat legal requirements as a minimum standard, including meeting or exceeding all legal requirements for compensation and working conditions; provide safe and healthy working conditions; foster an inclusive work environment that is free of harassment and discrimination; and respect employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. Cargill demands that suppliers never use or tolerate the use of human trafficking, forced labor or child labor as defined by the ILO and detailed in our Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement. Our Supplier Code also explains how to access our third-party grievance system managed by Navex.
In our global Policy on Sustainable Palm Oil, we commit to a transparent, traceable and sustainable palm oil supply chain with the aim to deliver palm oil that is produced in accordance with NDPE practices. Our policy extends to all parts of our palm supply chain and requires plantations, processing and trading operations and all third-party suppliers to act in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible manner.
We publicly list supplier grievances on our Palm Sustainability Dashboard. We hold ourselves and our suppliers accountable to respond to grievances, set time-bound action plans to ensure progress and close the grievance in a timely manner as agreed to by the complainant. Cargill’s Palm Grievance Procedure provides a transparent, open and robust process for dealing with grievances.
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.
Cargill participates in the Social Excellence Program initiated by the Palm Growers’ Association of Guatemala (GREPALMA) and implemented by Earthworm Foundation focused on Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), community impact, collective bargaining and protection of human rights defenders.
Ulula worker voice tools
Cargill works with suppliers in Latin America, Malaysia and Indonesia to support use of Ulula worker voice system to improve workers’ ability to provide feedback and help suppliers appropriately respond to worker concerns.
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.
Measuring our performance
As part of developing the human rights action plan for our palm oil supply chain, we are developing new key performance indicators to measure progress related to human rights.
To learn about our latest progress, see the updates posted under Reports and Publications.