Supply Chain Innovation

A Real Seed Project

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

There are some interesting new postings on the FLA web site related to the FLA’s Syngenta project. As FLA groupies know, that project relates to the FLA’s unique application of its methodologies used in the apparel industry to agriculture. Several years ago the FLA was asked to address the problem of the use of child labor in the Indian seed supply chain. The FLA commissioned two independent studies to assess the risks and then, based on the result of these studies , developed a new approach to internal and external monitoring of labor standards. In addition to the child labor issue, the studies also revealed problems with wages, hours of work, and occupational safety and health.

The new postings including the summary report of the multi-stakeholder forum held late last year in Hyderabad, India dedicated to identify and develop a consensus around priority issues for monitoring in the vegetable seed production sector. Participants identified code awareness, health and safety, wages and benefits and child labor as the four priority issues to address in the agricultural sector.

Also recently posted is the Syngenta Task and risk mapping study. The FLA commissioned Dr. Davuluri Venkateshwarlu to study the tasks and labor compliance risks in the production of Syngenta Seeds’ vegetable seeds in India. Dr. Venkateshwarlu highlighted four high-risk tasks in hybrid vegetable seed production: (1) pesticide application; (2) hybridization; (3) harvesting; and (4) seed extraction. These tasks pose compliance risks related to health and safety, child labor, bonded or forced labor and excessive hours of work.

To read these reports and also a longer description of the Syngenta Project, click here.


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