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Supply Chain Innovation

FLA Agriculture Principles, Code of Conduct, and Benchmarks

Agriculture sector companies affiliate with the FLA with a commitment to progressively include their producing countries and products within the scope of their FLA affiliation over time, in line with Charter requirements. FLA Affiliates are expected to apply the following Principles at all levels of their supply chain. Where there are both formal and informal workplace structures in a multi-tiered supply chain (tier-one suppliers, intermediaries, organizers, cooperatives, and others), the Company Affiliate may ensure the implementation of a Principle benchmark either directly or indirectly through collaboration with supply chain partners or other stakeholders.

FLA Principles guide companies in developing headquarter-level social compliance programs, while the Code of Conduct and associated benchmarks govern farm-level due diligence.  The FLA developed these standards for agriculture companies in consultation with agriculture-focused companies and civil society organizations.  They differ from the FLA's Principles and benchmarks for manufacturing primarily in that they:

  • May be applied differently for farms with informal labor structures (mostly smallholder farms) than for farms with formal structures;
  • Allow for both "minimum benchmarks" (requiring immediate compliance) and "progress benchmarks" requiring continuous improvement; and
  • Recognize family farming relationships as distinct from employee-employer relationships, while protecting workers' basic rights.

Principles of Fair Labor and Responsible Sourcing
for Companies with Agricultural Supply Chains

  1. Labor Standards:  Company Affiliate establishes and commits to clear standards.
  2. Company Staff and Implementing Partner Training:  Company Affiliate identifies and ensures that the specific personnel responsible for implementing labor standards, (at head office and in the regions) are trained and are aware of the workplace standards criteria.
  3. Supplier Training:  Company Affiliate obtains commitment, drives supplier awareness of labor standards, and tracks effectiveness of supplier workforce training.
  4. Functioning Grievance Mechanisms:  Company Affiliate ensures workers, farmers, and their family members (where applicable) have access to functioning grievance mechanisms, which include muliple reporting channels of which at least one is confidential.
  5. Monitoring:  Company Affiliate conducts workplace standards compliance monitoring.
  6. Collection and Management of Compliance Information:  Company Affiliate collects, manages, and analyzes labor standards compliance information.
  7. Timely and Preventative Remediation:  Company Affiliate works with suppliers to remediate in a timely way and preventative manner.
  8. Responsible Procurement Practices:  Company Affiliate aligns procurement practices with commitment to labor standards.
  9. Consultation with Government, Local Authorities, and Civil Society:  Company Affiliate idientifies, researches, and engages with relevant local and international non-govnernmental organizations, trade unions, and other civil society institutions.
  10. Verification Requirements: Company Affiliate meets FLA verification and program requirements.

The documents below elaborate on the principle benchmarks and progress indicators, and on the benchmarks associated with the FLA Workplace Code of Conduct for Agricultural Supply Chains.