Human rights due diligence [clear filter]
Wednesday, November 28

8:30am CET

Human rights due diligence in practice in the global food and beverages sector

Brief description of the session:
This session will explore how companies, governments, international NGOs, and local NGOs are working together to translate standards such as the UN Guiding Principles and Sustainable Development Goals into actual practices as they source food and beverage ingredients in complex and difficult contexts. Despite the flood of policies and initiatives that have launched, practices and procedures used to grow and fish many ingredients remain difficult to assess, and some initiative are clearly not going to meet their stated goals. The persistence of human rights violations pose distinct risks to corporations and governments and impacts on rights holders.
A variety of innovative tools and strategies are being developed to help stakeholders implement policies and commitments to the fields and oceans where the ingredients for global food and beverages are harvested and caught. This session will explore the complexities of conducting due diligence on complex and diverse supply chains in a variety of difficult contexts, investigate solutions that have worked, and review new tools that have been created.

Session Objectives:
This session will elicit a variety of strategies for governments, multinational corporations, civil society organizations, and local communities to fulfill their roles and responsibilities to “protect, respect and provide remedy” to affected populations (including migrant workers and women); to identify where current efforts are falling short; and how best to fill the remaining gaps. Special attention will be paid to the roles of human slavery, gender impacts and land rights in the global food and beverage supply chains and new tools that can be used to detect and remedy these abuses.

Key Discussion Questions
  • Which corporate compliance systems and government practices have been successful and what additional mechanisms are needed to improve businesses’ obligations and countries’ enforcement with respect human rights in this sector?
  • What are the relative roles of companies, governments, and civil society in meeting best standards?
  • What are the emerging best practices to provide impacted communities and victims access to judicial and non-judicial remedy, including examples of meaningful, direct participation of workers and communities?
  • What tools are available to help stakeholders assess human rights risks in their supply chains?
  • What are the existing gaps in policy, enforcement, and services provided related to the responsible sourcing of food and beverage ingredients?

Format of the Session:
Roundtable discussion led by two moderators. Selected speakers will serve as pop-up commenters to offer their insights and guidance for no more than five minutes. Audience participation will figure prominently in the session.

Background to the Discussion:
How do you get from international standards and best practices on paper to measurable results and operable safeguards in the field? This has become the most critical question for practitioners as stakeholders try to move from the “why” of prioritizing human rights in corporate supply chains to the “how” to conduct meaningful due diligence in corporate value chains.
Many companies have launched corporate commitments and supply chain policies regarding human rights. But many are struggling to understand how to implement these policies in very diverse contexts around the globe where corporate best practices may come up against resource constraints, weak governance structures, adverse local customs, internal corporate resistance, and a variety of other potential hurdles.
This panel tackles how companies, international NGOs, and local NGOs are working together to translate standards such as the UN Guiding Principles and Sustainable Development goals into actual practices in the face of these challenges. While there are no silver bullets to circumvent the hard work of implementation in situ, companies and NGOs are learning important lessons about what it takes to turn good intentions in to concrete actions.
This roundtable discussion will focus on the food and beverage industry, where the need for corporate action has never been more acute. Global Witness’s review of 2017 killings of land and environment defenders found that the agri-business sector is now the leading sector in which killings occur, surpassing extractives. Conflicts over land and practices that bond fisherfolk and agricultural laborers to their boat captains or landholders are still prevalent in many countries despite corporate vows to end these practices.  Women often experience unique labor and land violations.
The discussion will focus on tangible practices and tools now available to help companies and stakeholders implement meaningful due diligence to detect and end such practices.

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Lukasz Czerwinski

Lukasz Czerwinski

Program Manager, Global Resources, Landesa
With more than 15 years of experience, I"m a seasoned Land Tenure Specialist at Landesa, a global non-profit that champions secure land rights for millions of rural women and men. To move toward more equitable and sustainable outcomes for agricultural investments, I oversees Landesa's... Read More →
avatar for Irit Tamir

Irit Tamir

Director, Private Sector Department, Oxfam

avatar for Shawn MacDonald

Shawn MacDonald

Chief Executive Officer, Verité

Nattaya Petcharat

National Coordinator, Stella Maris
avatar for Christa Hayden Sharpe

Christa Hayden Sharpe

Regional President, IJM Asia Pacific, International Justice Mission
    IJM is a global human rights NGO that equips governments to sustainably and effectively protect the most vulnerable from exploitation and violence in over 20 locations around the world. We build collaborative, sustainable solutions between governments, private sector, civil... Read More →
avatar for Marika McCauley Sine

Marika McCauley Sine

Vice President, Global Human Rights, Mars

Wednesday November 28, 2018 8:30am - 9:45am CET

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