People, Safety and Well-Being
Helping to raise safety standards across the maritime industry
In 2018, there were nearly 1.65 million seafarers serving on merchant ships. For many of these, working onboard ships comes with a heightened degree or uncertainty. Cargill's ocean transportation business charters an average of 600 vessels at any given time. While not directly within our control, we prioritize the safety and well-being of the crews onboard those ships and the maintenance of the vessels we charter.
Seafarers often feel isolated and can be at risk of injury, abandonment, non-payment of salaries, poor working and living conditions, detention, and other concerns - matters which should not be taken lightly. Indeed, the Seafarers' Rights International organization describes seafaring as "one of the most dangerous professions in the world".
There are increasing cases of seafarers being abandoned in ports without pay, food, medical care of the ability to return home. Lack of internet and the impact this can have on seafarer mental health, crew morale, safety and productivity is another major factor.
At Cargill, we consider worker safety as a priority, in line with our Guiding Principles and Supplier Code of Conduct. Cargill does not own vessels, nor do we employ or contract the seafarers who work on or for the ships we charter. Nevertheless, we encourage safe practices and ethical treatment of seafarers in two main ways:
- By setting clear expectations through our Supplier Code of Conduct
- By partnering with ship owners to encourage best practices
In 2017, we established key targets to ensure our entire chartered fleet is RightShip approved and that we maintain our share of vessels with high safety ratings, make clear our expectations of suppliers, measure the performance of ship owners and keep our employees safe. Through these actions, we are moving toward more transparent and accountable relationships with ship owners, and our intent is to direct more of our business to those strategic partners.
Since setting these goals, we are pleased to be making progress in our five keys targets focused on people, safety and well-being.
- Maintain current share of 4* and 5* rated vessels according to RightShip
- 100% of fleet RightShip approved
- 100% of supplier contracts with a duration of 1 year or more reference our Supplier Code of Conduct
- Establish ship owner bench-marking tool rating suppliers on their fleet operations and safety performance
- Achieve zero injuries within our offices
You can read more about progress in these targets in our 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report.