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Responding department: Corporate Affairs (also with input from Law, EHS, Operating businesses and functions in various geographies)

Does your company have a publicly available commitment to respect human rights?

Cargill’s Code of Conduct highlights the company’s policy statements on a variety of topics. It is grounded in our seven Guiding Principles, which are ingrained in our culture and serve as the foundation for the behaviors expected from all of our employees in all parts of the world. Cargill’s Code of Conduct: [link]

Ethics & Compliance Information: [link]

In addition, Cargill's Strategic Sourcing group has developed a Supplier Code of Conduct that is incorporated into its standard contracts for equipment for its facilities and other company materials and included as part of its normal contracting process with suppliers. The Supplier Code of Conduct sets forth the expectations that Cargill’s suppliers conduct their business in a responsible and ethical manner and that they comply with all applicable laws, including employment and human rights laws. Specifically, Cargill’s Supplier Code of Conduct forbids its suppliers from employing or benefiting from child or compulsory labor.

Update 2016:

Cargill has a Statement on Human Rights on its website at: http://www.cargill.com/wcm/groups/public/@ccom/documents/document/na31956710.pdf

And additional information here: http://www.cargill.com/news/issues/labor-and-employment/index.jsp

How are human rights governed in your company?

Cargill’s Business Conduct Committee oversees the company’s ethics and compliance program with responsibility to ensure that the company has an effective overall program, designed, implemented and enforced to prevent and detect violations of the law. The Committee also has responsibility to take actions to promote an organizational culture that encourages a commitment to compliance and ethical conduct. It is chaired by a member of Cargill’s Corporate Leadership Team. Our customers expect us to be a trusted supplier of safe ingredients and products sourced from responsible and ethical producers.

Update 2016:

Cargill’s Business Ethics and Compliance Committee oversees the company’s ethics and compliance program with responsibility to ensure that the company has an effective overall program, designed, implemented and enforced to prevent and detect violations of the law.  The Committee also has responsibility to take actions to promote an organizational culture that encourages a commitment to compliance and ethical conduct. It is chaired by a member of Cargill’s Corporate Leadership Team. 

Our customers expect us to be a trusted supplier of safe ingredients and products sourced from responsible and ethical producers.

How are human rights managed within your company?

All employees are trained on Cargill’s Code of Conduct at time of hire. In addition, refresher discussions on the Code of Conduct are conducted with employees at least every 3 years thereafter. Cargill’s internal Ethics & Compliance website includes additional training materials.  New case studies are published regularly and include examples to reinforce the company’s Code of Conduct. Human rights issues can be challenging and Cargill alone cannot solve many of these complex problems. We believe it is essential that all parties in our supply chains work together to support rural livelihoods, raise incomes and ensure children and adults are not subject to illegal, abusive or enforced labor practices.

We work hard to provide all of our own employees with an equitable, safe and supportive work environment providing competitive wages and the rights to join a union and voluntarily negotiate, and we expect the same from our suppliers. For example, Cargill is actively supporting efforts to tackle child labor in the cocoa supply chain, both through its own activities and as part of industry-wide action. We are a long-term member of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), which is implementing best practices that have been proven to help farmers identify tasks that may harm children and reduce the dangers for children on farms, such as using machetes, pesticides or carrying heavy loads.

All of our employees in Côte d'Ivoire are being trained by the ICI to help them understand and identify children who may be at risk and we are working with our certified farmer cooperatives to improve processes to help address child labor. Farmer training activities are based on the codes of conduct of UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance, which include explicit requirements that prohibit child labor based on International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions.

What is the company’s approach to the engagement of stakeholders (including workers, and local communities impacted by the company’s activities), on human rights issues?

Cargill actively collaborates with multiple stakeholders including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government leaders, farmers, and employees when tackling social and environmental issues. For examples of multi- stakeholder engagement, please see our Responsible and Sustainable Supply Chain Consortiums fact sheet: [link]

Update 2016:

Cargill actively collaborates with multiple stakeholders including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government leaders, farmers, and employees when tackling social and environmental issues. 

For more information, please see our Operating Responsible Supply Chains fact sheet: http://www.cargill.com/wcm/groups/public/@ccom/documents/document/na31844655.pdf

Priority human rights issues: What are some of the priority human rights issues for your company?

The company selected the following from a check list:

  • Health (including environmental health, workplace health & safety)  
  • Workplace  diversity / non-discrimination
  • Forced labour and human trafficking (including in supply chains)  
  • Displacement and  community relocation
  • Access to water
  • Freedom of association and trade union rights  
  • Freedom of expression and/or right to  privacy / digital rights  
  • Women
  • Racial and ethnic  minorities  
  • Children (including child  labour)
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Migrant workers  

Update 2016:

Within our businesses, we work diligently to provide all employees with an equitable, safe and supportive work environment, with competitive wages and the rights to join a union and voluntarily negotiate. For 11 years in a row, we have earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.

In addition to signing commitments like the Brazilian National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor, we work in commodity supply chains such as cocoa and cotton to raise the livelihoods of producers and support their communities, which helps combat unfair labor practices. We also work in agricultural communities to promote and protect the rights of children, and improve their access to education.

Cocoa – as part of our Cargill Cocoa Promise we are committed to working to protect the rights of children, to raise awareness of labor issues and improve working practices amongst farming communities, and to take action to prevent children being put at risk.

Soy – our commitment to responsible soy production includes being a signatory to the Brazilian National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor, which monitors suppliers. We will not do business with those who appear on this list.

Palm – Cargill has developed a global palm policy and we are working towards 100% transparent, traceable and sustainable palm supply chain by 2020, including strict criteria for fair labor rights and human rights.

Cotton – we are committed to supporting the work being done by governments and organizations like the Association of Cotton Merchants in Europe and the International Labor Organization to find practical solutions to labour issues while fostering responsible economic development.

Actions on 'other' issues

In addition to the issues listed above, Farmer Livelihood is a priority for Cargill. Some examples of Cargill’s actions related to these human rights issues include: Cargill is enhancing its safety programming through a new approach called Focus on LIFE (Life-altering Injury and Fatality Elimination). The program is aimed at identifying and addressing life-threatening dangers hidden in our tasks and workplace.

The company is enhancing work activity interventions, reducing human errors, strengthening its incident investigations, and improving how its measures safety incidents.

In Indonesia, Cargill constructed wells to improve sanitation and access to clean water for seven communities near its PT Hindoli plantation. Cargill partners with CARE, a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. As part of the partnership, more than 13,000 students who were at risk of becoming child laborers graduated from primary school and almost 60,000 additional children (more than half of whom are girls) enrolled in Cargill-supported schools.

As a global organization, Cargill sees diversity and inclusion as a source of strength. We foster a culture that celebrates differences in our employees, our suppliers and our communities. For the past two years, Cargill Canada Limited has been recognized as one of “Canada’s Best Diversity Employers."

 

How are human rights commitments and information about how the company addresses its human rights impacts communicated, internally and externally?

Cargill regularly communicates its commitments to and actions related to human rights issues.  Information is shared publicly in Cargill’s Annual Report, Corporate Responsibility Report and on its public corporate website. Internally, Cargill’s Ethics & Compliance website provides materials for employees to learn about the importance of ethics and compliance at Cargill and understand the critical role they play in upholding the company’s ethical culture. New case studies are published regularly and include examples to reinforce the company’s Code of Conduct.

What provisions does your company have in place to ensure that grievances from workers and affected communities or individuals are heard, and can you provide examples of remedies provided?

Cargill’s Ethics Open Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for employees and third parties anywhere in the world (subject to certain countries’ legal limitations) to raise concerns about potential misconduct of Cargill and its employees. The Ethics Open Line is operated by a third-party vendor, providing a secure and confidential method for reporting issues or raising concerns.

Update 2016:

We take all reports of potential misconduct seriously and handle them promptly, fairly, and as confidentially as possible. We have established a transparent, open, and predictable process for dealing with grievances. Any grievance, complaint or concern from external parties and employees may be submitted anonymously online or by phone via Cargill’s secure Ethics Open Line, which is operated by an independent third-party and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Employees also can raise grievances with their manager, human resources representative, and/or through their trade union or employee representative. Cargill will not tolerate retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, raises a concern or participates in an investigation.

Which external and collaborative human rights initiatives does your company participate in, and what is the nature of your involvement?

Cargill works in cooperation with NGOs and local governments to conduct a variety of programs. Some examples of collaboration include: Cargill is committed to sustainable palm oil production and sourcing, including the protection of human rights and fair labor rights. We respect the rights of indigenous and local communities to give or withhold their Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) for the utilization of lands. Cargill is also a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Cargill Brazil is a signatory of the Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor, which is an initiative lead by the ILO, Ethos Institute and other organizations to help companies avoid the use of slave labor in its supply chains.

Cargill is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a multi-stakeholder initiative to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.

Through its membership of ABIOVE (Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries) Cargill supports the Soja Plus Program. This aims to support the development of a sustainable soy industry by encouraging environmental conservation, supporting better agricultural practices and improving the rights and well-being of workers, rural producers and communities in Brazil.

Cargill is a founding member of Bonsucro, a global multi-stakeholder non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of sugar cane production.

Which are the key one, two or three elements of your approach to human rights that been developed or amended since June 2011? Please indicate if these actions were in response to the UN Guiding Principles.

At Cargill, corporate responsibility is a process of continual improvement. The company understands the need to review the effectiveness of policies and implementation practice and engages with stakeholders in a constant review and improvement process. In addition to complying with employment laws and regulations in the 65 countries with Cargill facilities, Cargill pays close attention to working conditions in commodity supply chains, where agricultural working conditions can present many challenges. The company does not tolerate the use of enforced, abused or illegal labor practices in any of its operations; and Cargill continues to take actions to tackle the use of child labor and to improve working conditions and practices in its supply chains.

Update 2016:

At Cargill, corporate responsibility is a process of continual improvement. The company understands the need to review the effectiveness of policies and implementation practice and engages with stakeholders in a constant review and improvement process.

In addition to complying with employment laws and regulations in the 70 countries where Cargill has employees, Cargill pays close attention to working conditions in commodity supply chains, where agricultural working conditions can present many challenges. The company does not tolerate the use of enforced, abused or illegal labor practices in any of its operations; and Cargill continues to take actions to tackle the use of child labor and to improve working conditions and practices in its supply chains.

What are some of the obstacles and challenges that your company encounters in implementing its human rights commitments?

Because of the complexity of our business, we operate in many different geographies. Conditions are different from one supply chain to the next and from one country to the next. We focus on what we can do and where we will have the most impact. We know better than most that this is hard work and that there can be different points of view. We also know that farmers and local communities must be essential partners in this effort. If we don’t recognize that, even with the best of intentions, we will fail.