Brazil-UK: Forced labour, due diligence & beef and timber supply chains research results, includes outreach to companies

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[To read this story in Portuguese, click here]

The University of Nottingham, BRICS Policy Centre, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, Reporter Brasil and Core Coalition, with the support of the British Academy, have conducted a research on the Beef and Timber Supply Chain in Brazil in 2018: “The interaction of law and supply chain management in cross-judicial supply chains: supply chain effectiveness of modern slavery legislation”.

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre was responsible for conducting an outreach to Brazilian companies in such supply chains inviting them to respond to a questionnaire on due diligence and labour issues. The main objectives of this outreach were to understand better how companies view the issue of forced labour in their supply chains and understand their approaches to prevent forced labour and conduct human rights due diligence.

Please find below some of the outcomes of this project such as the Guide "Tackling slavery in supply chains:lessons from Brazilian-UK beef and timber", prepared by Dr Caroline Emberson of the University of Nottingham's Rights Lab with contributions from Dr Silvia Pinheiro, PUC Rio and Marilyn Croser, CORE, the Summary of outreach to Brazilian beef and timber companies on forced labour prepared by the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and the report Cattle Route: Modern Slavery and the British Market, prepared by Reporter Brasil.

About the outcomes:

1) Summary of outreach to Brazilian beef and timber companies on forced labour

In October 2018, Business & Human Rights Resource Centre approached 9 Brazilian timber and beef companies with a questionnaire on their actions to prevent forced labour in their supply chains. Seven companies responded representing a response rate of 77% (the Resource Centre’s Global Response Rate is around 75%). These companies were chosen because they are large timber or beef companies with exports to the UK. Full responses are available in Portuguese below.

From the beef sector, we invited BRF, JBS Global, Marfrig and Minerva Foods to respond. JBS and Minerva Foods responded. We will inform in the near future if BRF and Marfrig respond.

From the timber sector, we invited Fibria Celulose, Grupo Sudati, Grupo Tramontina, Klabin, Tradelink Madeiras and Suzano Papel e Celulose. During the process of responding the questionnaires, Suzano Papel e Celulose merged with Fibria Celulose. Klabin, Tramontina Belém (from the Grupo Tramontina), Tradelink Madeira, and Suzano Papel e Celulose (on behalf of Suzano Papel e Celulose and Fibria Celulose) responded to the questionnaires. We will inform in the near future if Grupo Sudati responds.

2) Guide "Tackling slavery in supply chains:lessons from Brazilian-UK beef and timber".

This guide was prepared by Dr Caroline Emberson of the University of Nottingham's Rights Lab with contributions from Dr Silvia Pinheiro, PUC Rio and Marilyn Croser, CORE.  The guide "draws upon collaborative research led by the University of Nottingham and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC Rio) with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Reporter Brazil, Corporate Responsibility (CORE) and the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre (BHRRC). It presents case studies of emerging anti-slavery practices in the Brazilian-UK supply chains of beef and timber."

3) Cattle Route: Modern Slavery and the British Market

Report by Repórter Brasil which was responsible for conducting analysis of the supply chains of the sectors mentioned above.

“This report addresses the reality of slave labour in Brazil’s cattle industry, stressing its connections with British companies and exports to the United Kingdom. We focus on providing insights into the impact of anti-slavery laws – notably the UK Modern Slavery Act and the so-called “dirty list” of slave labour – in tackling modern slavery in production chains.”

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All components of this story

Company response
13 March 2019

Tramontina Response

Author: Tramontina Belém (Brazil)

(Only available in Portuguese)

Download the full document here