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Peru: Swedwatch report alleges Swedish co's fail to address water-related human rights risks associated with production of agricultural goods

Swedwatch's report To the last drop – Water and human rights impacts of the agro export industry in Ica, Peru: the responsibility of buyers looks at the water-related human rights impacts associated with the large-scale production of fruits and vegetables in the Ica-valley. It concludes that Swedish companies buying from the region fail to adequately identify and act on these risks and that their processes for human rights due diligence need to be strengthened. 

The report is based on information provided to Swedwatch by the companies’ and all were offered the opportunity to read and comment on the report. The links below also include statements from the companies.

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Article
13 November 2018

Company responses to Swedwatch's report "To the last drop"

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Article
13 November 2018

FOOD COMPANIES FAIL TO ADDRESS WATER RISKS IN PERU

Author: Swedwatch

In a new report, Swedwatch and Diakonia present findings from an investigation on the water-related human rights risks associated with the production of agricultural goods. It focuses on the Ica valley in Peru, and analyses how these risks are addressed by seven Swedish companies buying fresh vegetables from the area. While a surge in demand for asparagus, avocado and other vegetables has boosted economic growth and created jobs, increased pressure on freshwater resources has also led to an acute water crisis for Ica’s local communities. The agriculture sector which is dominated by the production of export crops accounts for up to 90 per cent of yearly groundwater extraction while residents in some areas only have access to water for a few hours every week...

The report also finds other forms of human rights risks associated with the large-scale production of fruits and vegetables, including labour rights violations at export farms... 

[The report] concludes that the companies’ follow-up of their suppliers’ compliance with human rights requirements is lacking and that they need to strengthen their processes for human rights due diligence...

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Report
13 November 2018

To the last drop

Author: Swedwatch, Diakonia and CODEHICA

In this report, Swedwatch presents findings from investigations into the water-related human rights impacts of agricultural products imported from the Ica valley. The report explores the responsibility of companies buying such products and scrutinises the performance of the Swedish retailers, wholesalers and importers in meeting inter- national guidelines on business and human rights. The report also covers some of the labour rights abuses in Peru’s agro export sector and impacts on women and children identified during Swedwatch’s investigation. The aim of the report is to highlight the need for improved human rights due diligence among companies in agricultural supply chains, particularly regarding water-related human rights risks...

Since the initial stages of producing the report, Swedwatch has engaged in dialogue with the Swedish companies scrutinised: the retailers ICA, Coop and Axfood, the wholesalers Martin & Servera and Menigo and the importers Everfresh and Ewerman. Based on the information provided, Swedwatch assessed the companies’ perfor- mance in identifying and addressing the human rights risks among their suppliers of Peruvian fruits and vegetables from the Ica valley...

Before publication, the companies were offered the opportunity to read and comment on the report. Official comments can be found on Swedwatch’s website.

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