Louis Dreyfus Company responded
10 December 2021
Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) is surprised by the content of Public Eye’s report, regarding which the company was neither contacted nor consulted, and which contains a number of factual inaccuracies, in particular with respect to the estimate of the amount of land that LDC controls.
Most of the land the report claims is owned by LDC in Brazil is actually managed by the company through partnership agreements with landowners and farmers. As an example, of the 25,000 hectares of LDC-managed citrus farmland, the company owns 6,000 hectares in four farms, the rest being leased through partnership agreements. Moreover, fruit sourced from LDC-managed land represents approximately 5% of our juice production.
This said, as a responsible global producer and supplier of quality orange juice, LDC takes sustainability issues very seriously, always aiming to operate to the highest standards possible, in accordance with our commitment to fair and sustainable business practices.
It is also important to reiterate that LDC adheres strictly to all applicable laws and regulations, often striving to go beyond these in relation to employee benefits, support and safety standards. With regard to our citrus farms in Brazil, we reiterate that all LDC employees are hired directly by the company with a formal labor contract that fully complies with Brazilian law and international standards for the protection of employees.
LDC also works with third party citrus fruit suppliers, for whom we have a dedicated Code of Conduct for Raw Material Suppliers, detailing requirements that we ask our suppliers to comply with in relation to human rights, health and safety, business integrity and environmental protection.
We work continually with our suppliers to enforce compliance through meetings and a systematic requirement to sign the Code of Conduct when contracting new suppliers. Where we observe issues, we work alongside our suppliers to help them adapt their farms in line with our policies, sometimes sponsoring baseline audits in the pursuit of certification. We make every effort to work with suppliers to change their approach, but the ultimate sanction is to stop trading with them if those efforts fail.
Our efforts and progress to shape increasingly sustainable supply chains are outlined in our Sustainability Reports - the latest for 2020 - in line with our commitment to transparency on, and accountability for, our business activities globally.