Danish dairy firm commits to undertake human rights due diligence in line with UN Guiding Principles

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13 January 2015

ActionAid Denmark welcomes move in anticipation of firm entering African markets

Author: Dwayne Mamo, Copenhagen Post (Denmark)

"Arla heightens human rights focus", 11 Jan 2014

In a statement today, Danish dairy group Arla promises to increase their awareness of human rights and the fate of local, small farmers when entering foreign markets...The heightened focus on corporate social responsibility comes as a result of pressure from NGO Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke [ActionAid Denmark)...“We are farmer-owned and our job is to sell and export milk in the best possible way for our owners,” said Astrid Gade Nielsen, the communications director for Arla. “But while we have a strong focus on responsibility, we must say that they [MS] have convinced us.”...As of April 2015 the EU will remove its quotas on milk exports and delivery meaning that European milk products will soon flood export markets, which will impact local farmers and production. “If we get a giant like Arla to act differently and begin to support the local farmers’ production instead of outranking them, it could have a huge effect,” Frans Mikael Jansen, the secretary general for MS, tells Politiken...Nielsen said that Arla is also interested in helping others in the industry to make the same types of agreements its made with MS.

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13 January 2015

Arla Foods press release

Author: Arla Foods

"Arla Foods to ensure responsible approach to African markets", 12 Jan 2014

Arla plans to grow in several African markets in the coming years, but this growth must be achieved in a responsible way that does not bring unintentional consequences for the local farming industry and its related communities. Therefore, Arla is implementing an updated human rights policy throughout its organisation to ensure that Arla’s global business does not leave a negative footprint in developing countries...Arla has introduced a list of initiatives to ensure the following: Arla will update its human rights policy in its code of conduct in order to comply with the UNGPs and the OECD guidelines by 15 July 2015; Arla will introduce due diligence procedures complying with the UNGPs and the OECD guidelines by 31 October 2015 ensuring that Arla is well placed to manage the human rights impacts of its global business activities in accordance with international human rights guidelines; Arla’s human rights due diligence procedures shall identify and prevent as far as possible actual and potential adverse human rights effects caused by Arla’s business activities or to which the company may contribute, in particular in relation to our ongoing or planned activities in developing countries; Arla will pilot test its due diligence procedures by conducting and publicizing human rights impact assessments related to its business activities in Ivory Coast and Nigeria. The results of the assessments will be made public by 1 April 2015 and 1 May 2015, respectively.

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