In July and August 2015, during periods of peak seed production activity, the FLA conducted unannounced independent external monitoring (IEM) and independent external verification (IEV) visits at Syngenta‘s seed supplier farms in Hungary, Romania, and Turkey. Monitoring visits provide an independent assessments of working conditions at farms; verification visits assess remediation progress following previous monitoring visits.
In Hungary, assessors conducted one IEM in the sunflower supply chain and one IEV in the corn supply chain, returning to the same farms the FLA visited in 2013. In Turkey, assessors conducted one IEM in the corn supply chain, and one IEV in previously assessed sunflower-seed growing farms or villages. And in Romania, assessors conducted one IEM in the sunflower supply chain. After the Romania IEM was concluded, Syngenta informed the FLA that sunflower production would be discontinued in Romania and no labor compliance program will continue in that country; therefore, Syngenta has not developed a corrective action plan for non-compliances found on farms in that country. Teams consisting of a mix of FLA staff and external assessors visited 11 large and medium-sized farms in Hungary and 26 small farms in Turkey. In Romania, assessors visited two large farms during cross-pollination activities. Assessors interviewed a total of 313 workers who were involved in pollination and detasseling activities: 173 in Turkey, 46 in Hungary, and 94 workers in Romania.
Comparison of the FLA’s findings in 2015 with findings from 2013 and 2014 shows progress in some areas like code awareness, child labor, and health and safety, and gaps that remain to be addressed in other areas like hours of work and compensation. The executive summary below elaborates on the FLA’s findings for its 2015 assessments and the companies’ responses those findings, and summarizes progress and remaining gaps in remediation. More detailed reports for each farm visit appear beneath the executive summary.