Agriculture assessments overview
FLA implements annual assessments called Independent External Assessments to evaluate the performance of each member company’s human rights due diligence program and working conditions at the farm level.
The assessments are performed by FLA-approved assessors and include visits to a company’s country operations and a representative sample of farms that supply to the company. After an assessment, a company develops and implements a corrective action plan to address any negative findings.
There are five types of assessments performed by FLA. The selection of a specific assessment type is based on supply chain traceability, the maturity of a company’s human rights due diligence program, and the level of risk in a given region.
Types of assessments implemented by FLA include:
Baseline mapping occurs in the preliminary stages of a company’s affiliation — or when a new country or commodity is added to the FLA Agriculture Program. A mapping assessment serves to develop and refine a company’s monitoring and remediation program.
It provides situational awareness by examining the status of the company’s supply chain and labor management systems, country risks, community profile, local stakeholders, worker profiles, and labor risks.
Independent External Monitoring
An Independent External Monitoring assessment occurs when a company implements monitoring and remediation at the farm level.
FLA assesses a company’s country-level human rights due diligence program; conducts interviews with local civil society organizations, community stakeholders, farmers, workers, women, and children, and visits a sample of farms to gather data on working conditions.
The performance of management systems is evaluated against FLA Principles and labor conditions at the farm level are evaluated against the FLA Fair Labor Code.
Independent External Verification
An Independent External Verification assessment is conducted in countries and farms after a company completes a Corrective Action Plan based on the results of an Independent External Monitoring.
The verification assessment confirms the effective implementation of a company’s Corrective Action Plan to address non-compliance at the management and farm levels.
Focused Assessments are implemented in countries and commodities where FLA conducts an in-depth analysis of one or two key issue areas. For example, issues such as fair compensation, grievance mechanisms, responsible recruitment, or the impact of COIVD-19 on workers. Focused assessments take a “deep dive” to learn the root causes of issues and provide targeted recommendations to the company.
Social Impact Assessment
A Social Impact Assessment may occur after several annual cycles of Independent External Monitoring and Independent External Verification as a company’s remediation activities are maturing.
Through a Social Impact Assessment, FLA collects data about the knowledge, attitudes, and practices about a company’s remediation activities and how they are perceived by community stakeholders, farmers, workers, and children, including their level of satisfaction and the perceived benefit and impact.