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Producers call for inclusive and impactful due diligence legislation

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was created over 70 years ago, but the rights of millions of farmers and workers still remain unfulfilled today.

Human rights and environmental violations are still prevalent in agricultural supply chains and legislation to help address these violations is critical.

In an open letter, Fairtrade farmers and workers - supported by businesses - call for impactful and strong due diligence legislation, asking the European Union to include their voices and needs in negotiations.

“Dialogue with the people impacted by business is a fundamental principle in human rights and environmental due diligence. We, as rights holders, want our voices heard” reads an extract.

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What Farmers are asking for and why

Producer’s key components for due diligence legislation:

1. Covering supply chains comprehensively

Since violations often take place at the beginning of supply chains, companies’ due diligence obligation should cover both their own activities and those resulting from their business relationships, including entire value chains

2. Sharing costs of compliance with Businesses

Farmers and workers can only address human rights and environmental challenges if companies share the cost of compliance that enables them to take necessary action

3. Adapting purchasing and trading practices

Since bad practices can contribute to human rights violations, such as excessive overtime and lack of living wages and incomes, the legislation should explicitly state that due diligence is to always cover the company’s own purchasing practices, they need to assess the impact of their purchasing practices at every step and improve where necessary, such as long-term commitments and fair pricing policies that enable living incomes and wages

4. Preventing Cut and Run

Legislation should require companies to address the most serious human rights and environmental issues and work together with rights holders and make an emphasis on Preventing cut and run behaviour, where companies move operations to areas perceived as less risky, in favour of seeking solutions collaboratively

5. Acting on living incomes and living wages

Recognize and act on living wages, living incomes, freedom of association and collective bargaining as indivisible human rights which are indispensable steps in human rights and environmental protection and promotion.

6. Meaningful stakeholder engagement

Companies should actively seek and heed the perspectives of potentially affected workers, farmers and other rightsholders at every step of the due diligence process. Working together in a participatory and bottom-up approach and preventing top-down measures.

Signatories and getting involved

Over 270 Producer Organisations have signed the letter and over 40 companies have already supported it. Would you like to get involved and support this initiative? Contact us here.

Producer Organisations

AAA Growers Limited - Chui Farm

ACPA ATAISI DE R. L.

Ageri Leone cooperative

Alsamawat alzrkaa association28250

Amazon Cocoa Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd

AMKA mlimaji wa kahawa bord du lac Kivu

Apesika Co-operative Pineapple Growers and Marketing Limited

AQUILA DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED

Asociación Agrícola Banana Dulce (ASOABADU)

Asociación Agrícola Noroestana, ASOANOR

Asociación Barillense de Agricultores ASOBAGRI

Asociación Civil de Pequeños Productores de Café Manos Campesinas

Asociación de Cacaocultores Juan Cruz Guaranal

Asociación de Procesos de Café dela Unión(APROCAUN)

Asociación de Productores Agricolas Abrahan Rodríguez (ASOPROAAR)

Asociación de Productores de Bananos Las Mercedes, Inc.

Asociación de Productores y Exportadores Agroecológicos

ASODOCAPRO, INC

Association Planteurs du Village

Association Théodore Vanille

Bahria Oasis Developing Farmer,s association

Banelino

Batian Flowers Ltd

Bergendal-Maneberg

BRFAIR - Asociación de Organizaciones Fairtrade de Brasil (Coodinadora Nacional de Comercio Justo de Brasil)

BS ABANGA FAIRTRADE COCONUT ASSOCIATION

Bufumbo organic farmers association

Bundikakemba Growers Coop Society Ltd

Café Gourmet Sierra Azul SC

Cafés Especiales Corquin S.A.

Cafes Finos Corquin S.A. -CAFICO

Central coffee farmers association

Chebokaptich Farmers Empowerment Project

Cooperativa Agropecuaria Regional Nuevo Eden Limitada

Cooperativa Cafetalera Cerro Negro Limitada COCACENEL

Cooperativa Integral de Producción Apicultores de Cuilco.

COOPERATIVE AGRICOLE AMKA

COOPERATIVE COPRONAM

Cooperative des Producteurs et Préparateurs de Vanille de Mananara COPPVM

COOPERATIVE FANOHANA

Coopérative Femmes daddes

COOPÉRATIVE IMGOUNE

COOPERATIVE MITSINJO (FLOID 30625)

Cooperative Taratra

COOPERATIVE TARATRA

CoopeVictoria R.L

COPERFAM

COPROCASA (COopérative de PROducteurs de CAcao du SAmbirano)

Dukunde Kawa Cooperative

Egyptian Herbs Growers Society

Exploding Tree

El Smwwat El Zarqa

Farmer development association

FECCEG, Federación Comercializadora de Café Especial de Guatemala

FEDECOCAGUA

Ferme bio shoul Maroc

Fermes bio shoul

Fruits of the Nile Growers Association

Fundación Dominicana de Productores Orgánicos

Gacaharage Tea Factory co. ltd

Golden Tulip Farms Limited

HALBA

HANNA ROSES LTD

Hazoua Palm

Hurst Botanicals

Indigenas de la Sierra Madre de Motozintla San Isidro Labrador S de S.S.

Journeys End Brands (Pty) Ltd

KABUNYERIA FCS

KADERES PEASANTS DEVELOPMENT PLC

Kagaari North Farmers Co_operative Society

Kagera Cooperative Union (1990)Ltd

Kapkiyai Multipurpose Cooperative society ltd

Karagwe District Co-operative Union (KDCU) Ltd

KAYONZA GROWERS TEA FACTORY LTD

Kibinge Coffee Farmers' Co-operative Society Ltd

kibirigwi fcs

Kikalizo cocoa and vanilla farmers cooperative society limited

KOBIMA

KOMAVA

KOTMT, KOBIMA, KOMIA, COMILA, KOTSA, KOMAVA

KOTSA

Kuapa Kokoo Cooperative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Limited (KKFU)

LAUREN INTERNATIONAL FLOWERS LIMITED

LILOMA AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE (LAC)

Mabua and Wowaa Cooperative Society Ltd

MFTPC

Misr El Benaa For Development

Munafa Cocoa Farmers Cooperative

MUTINDWA FARMERS CO-OP SOCIETY LTD

Napier Vineyards (Pty) Ltd

New Gikaru FCS LTD

Offinso Fine Flavour Co-Operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Society Limited

Phakama Mafucula (Pty) Ltd

Phata Sugarcane Outgrowers Cooperative Society Ltd

Pont Bon Dieu Cooperative Produce and Credit Society

PRODECOOP, R.L.

Productores de Café de Motozintla S de S.S.

Productores de Café de Totonacapan de RL

Quatre Soeurs CCS

RAINFOREST FARMLANDS KENYA LTD

Randlyn Holdings Limited

RUKURIRI TEA FACTORY COMPANY LIMITED.

Sangaa small producers society

SCOOPS KEKELI

SIMBI ROSES LTD

Sukambizi Association Trust

Syngenta Kenya Cuttings Ltd

Tambuzi Ltd

Tegloma Cocoa Farmers Cooperative Society

The Century Credit Cooperative Society

Tobhar Small Growers Society

TRANSEBEL LTD

Tulaga Flowers

Unión de Cafetaleros Orgánicos de Ángel Albino Corzo (UCOAAC)

VALENTINE GROWERS COMPANY LIMITED

Van Den Berg Kenya Limited

VOLTA RIVER ESTATES LIMITED

West Akyem Co-operative cocoa farmers and Marketing Union limited

Yirgacheffe Coffee Farmers cooperatives union

ZENA ROSES ASAI FARM

Companies endorsing

3 Freunde

Agrofair

Alva Linen AB

Alvas

Araku

Arvid Nordquist

Ben & Jerry's

Blomsterlandet

Bovetti

Cafédirect

Campusravita

Chocolate Makers

Coop Sverige AB

Dedicated

Eguale

EZA Fairer Handel GmbH

Fair & Co

Faircoop/Fairebel

Fairtrade Original

Galler

Guylian

Java Koffie

Kalani

Kätkökoru

Klingele

Koawach

La Compagnie fruitière

Les cafés Sati

Lobodis

Löfbergs

Maestrani

Malongo

Nudie Jeans

Pakka AG

Paulig

Peeze

Reyhani Reis

ROST & Co.

Systembolaget

Tekompaniet Swedetraders AB

Tony's Chocolonely

Unica ravintolat

Ylva

Yumeko

For reference:

What Law?

On 23 February, the European Commission presented its proposal “Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence” for a European Union regulation on Human Rights and Environmental Due Diligence (HREDD) urging large companies placing products on the EU market to reduce and remediate any serious negative impacts they or their supply chains have on people or the environment.

This regulation can greatly advance the livelihoods and other human rights of farmers and workers operating in global supply chains. But many Fairtrade-certified farmer groups fear the opposite: a poorly defined regulation that could exclude vulnerable farmers and workers from supply chains

Read more on the proposal

Why Now?

To have a positive impact on farmers and workers, HREDD legislation should ensure real shifts in business practices. Rights holders from producer countries are often still not directly involved in those discussions, and not nearly enough as much as they should be. Now is the opportune moment to listen to the voices of farmers and workers all over the world, as well as that of those progressive businesses.

Now the proposal has been published, EU Member States and the European Parliament will prepare their reactions to the proposal. Then the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament will start negotiations. After agreement and formal approval, Member States will have two years to transpose the Directive into national law.

Related content

Fairtrade and Human Rights: Fairtrade works to empower farmers and workers, foster responsible business conduct and spur policy reforms that protect human rights in global supply chains. Read more here.

How does Fairtrade mitigate human rights violations in supply chains?