In July and August 2016, 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 – two assessments in Hungary and two in Turkey in the corn and sunflower supply chains.
Teams consisting of external assessors visited eight large and medium-sized farms in Hungary and 21 small farms in Turkey. Assessors interviewed a total of 352 workers who were involved in pollination and detasseling activities: 261 in Turkey and 91 in Hungary. The assessment teams followed the FLAʼs Independent External Monitoring methodology, which comprises four main components: (1) visits to Syngenta’s local offices, (2) visits to supply chain intermediaries like seed organizers, labor contractors, or Human Resources companies, (3) farm visits, and (4) external stakeholder consultations. A new assessment tool was piloted this year that includes FLA revised benchmarks for the agriculture sector.
Comparison of the FLA’s findings in 2016 with findings from 2015 shows progress in some areas like code awareness, and gaps that remain to be addressed in other areas like age verification and payment of benefits. The executive summary below elaborates on the FLA’s findings for its 2016 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.