From the Syngenta website: Syngenta is guided by the conviction that value creation depends on the successful integration of business, social and environmental performance. Syngenta is committed to promote and maintain high standards of corporate responsibility worldwide in an industry that is essential to global agriculture and food production. The company acts in accordance with its Code of Conduct and its Health, Safety and Environmental Policy, which respect human rights and embrace internationally accepted regulations and the highest scientific standards.
From September 2014 to March 2015, during the peak seed production process, the FLA conducted three unannounced independent external monitoring visits to assess working conditions at Syngenta‘s corn seed supplier farms in Thailand. The assessments were conducted in Kampaengphet, Lamphun, and Nakornratchasima provinces where Syngenta is sourcing corn seeds.
In December of 2014, DanWatch, a Danish civil society organization that monitors the corporate social responsibility behavior of multinational companies, released the documentary “Seeds of Debt.” The documentary reported instances of exploitative high-interest money lending to farmers in rural Andhra Pradesh, India – a systemic problem in the agriculture sector – and featured testimony from farmers producing seeds for Syngenta, an affiliate of the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Following the release of the documentary, Syngenta requested for the FLA to conduct its own investigation.
In July and August 2014, during periods of peak seed production activity, the FLA conducted unannounced independent external monitoring (IEM) visits to assess working conditions at Syngenta‘s seed supplier farms in Europe and the Middle East. Two assessments took place in Hungary (at farms in the provinces of Jász, Nagykun, Szolnok, and Csongrád), two in Romania (in Iasi and Galati provinces) and three in Turkey (in Bergama and Konya) where Syngenta is sourcing corn and sunflower seeds.
As a requirement of a company’s affiliation with the Fair Labor Association (FLA), the FLA annually conducts independent assessments of a sample of each affiliated company’s supply chain. The FLA started conducting independent external monitoring (IEM) visits of Syngenta’s supply chain for seeds in 2008, focusing at that time on India only. The scope of IEM visits gradually extended to cover seven countries in 2013, including seeds for crops such as corn, sunflowers, and soybeans.
In 2004, FLA launched a pilot project with Syngenta Seeds Inc., a Swiss agro-business seeking assistance with monitoring of working conditions throughout its global hybrid seed supply chain. Since the project’s launch, FLA has built an in-depth understanding of the tasks and risks involved in hybrid seed production, and developed and tested a monitoring system and agriculture specific benchmarks. Syngenta worked with FLA over a period of four years and demonstrated great strides in integrating reccomendations into their compliance program. Syngenta is now an FLA Participating Company.