As part of their ongoing commitment to respect human rights, Fyffes completed its first ever corporate-wide Human Rights Impact Assessment in January 2020, aligning with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, through its partner BSR. Also, earlier this year, Fyffes published its first ever Global Human Rights Policy and Statement.
As a result of the assessment, Fyffes Global Sustainability Steering Committee recently endorsed the Company’s Human Rights Mitigation and Management Plan which provides a framework to manage, mitigate and help resolve identified human rights risks.
Fyffes chose five countries to do an in-depth analysis – Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Honduras. The countries were chosen due to their importance to Fyffes as well as their potential risk profile.
Three priority areas emerged from the report where Fyffes has taken immediate action: ‘access to a grievance mechanism’, ‘child labour’ and ‘migrant worker labour violations and forced labour’.
Responding to these issues Fyffes Global Director of Sustainability, Julie Cournoyer said “in April 2019 Fyffes had already implemented a global, independent grievance mechanism, available in the language of our employees via telephone or online. For our mitigation plan, we agreed to run a broader campaign internally to make sure all employees are aware of the hotline.”
“Because of the severe negative impact of child labour on children, we do not tolerate the use of child or forced labour, nor exploitation of children in any of our own operations and in our agricultural supply chains. Our assessments have yet to identify any specific instances of child labour in our own operations and we have systems in place to ensure our suppliers are taking adequate measures to prevent child labour. However, we have introduced a Child Labour Remediation Protocol so that we can act swiftly and sensitively if or when it occurs.
“With migrant worker issues, Fyffes has good practices in place already. But we‘re working on measures to ensure that workers are aware of their rights and their rights are upheld, especially in relation to the risk to Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic.
The full scope of Fyffes Human Rights Mitigation Plan is outlined below:
- Establish and circulate Fyffes Global Child Labour Remediation Protocol
- Continue to engage with existing trade-unions and workers committees in good faith and train all managers on freedom of association
- Implement Fyffes Gender Equality Program, targets and gender-related training
- Provide training on security and community programs to reduce security threats
- Conduct community-needs assessments to identify environment and health-related issues and solutions
- Facilitate capacity-building in smallholder and own farm climate resilience
- Continue to engage with and support the Living Wage initiative
- Increase worker training and awareness of the Fyffes Ethics Hotline and extend to suppliers and stakeholders
- Partner with NGOs to reduce Haitian migrant worker vulnerability in Dominican Republic