Ethical Business Services

’To develop long-term partnerships with all the stakeholders in the supply chain to achieve sustainable compliance through Continuous Improvement and Capacity Building’

OBJECTIVES

A concrete fact-finding approach

An interface between the Vendor and the Retailer towards mutual sustainability

Create realistic awareness on social compliance challenges

Assist in the development of a 'Continuous Improvement Plan', for all stakeholders in the supply chain

Continuous Improvement Systems goes beyond the scope of Audits. It addresses Pre - assessments, Gap Assessments, Supply Chain Interventions to ensure a Business Case for all stakeholders involved.

Continuous Improvement essentially looks at 'Vendor Development' instead of 'Vendor Evaluation'. It looks towards breaking the conventional cycle of 'audit', corrective action plan and re-audit as this ultimately leads to persistent non-compliance. Continuous Improvement services, will provide remediation strategies and practical solutions to the vendor and will focus on progressive measures to attain compliance. It looks towards developing the vendors to understand the positives of the social compliance requirements leading to the objective of 'Sustainable Compliance'. Hence a step further towards the vision of Globally Sustainable Supply Chain.

COTTON INITIATIVES

Global Trainers for Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

BCI & IRFT go a long way!!!


BCI exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector's future. BCI works with a diverse range of stakeholders to promote measurable and continuing improvements for the environment, farming communities and the economies of cotton producing areas.

BCI aims to transform cotton production worldwide by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity.

To ensure the quality and consistency of the train-the-trainer program, BCI chose IRFT - International Resources for Fairer Trade as its Global Training Partner. In addition to acting as primary training provider, IRFT has worked with BCI to develop a unique global training program designed to provide Implementing Partners with a common understanding of the Better Cotton Standard System. Made up of distance learning, a four-day workshop, and an accreditation exam, the program combines active, participatory learning with a rigorous, technical focus to build a pool of qualified trainers within each partner organization.


GRAPES INITIATIVES

Grapes Direct Ltd. - UK's leading specialist grape importer and prominent supplier to Sainsbury London. The company's business is based on the simple formula of connecting the best grape growers in the world with the UK's best supermarkets.

Grapes Direct was keen on incorporating the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) Base Code within their supply chain to the grower’s level. They approached IRFT to introduce the code to the whole supply chain in Nashik - the Grape Exporters, Packhouse Workers and Grape Growers.

Prior to the training, a Needs Assessment was conducted by IRFT to gauge the ground realities. Thereafter a customized, feasible and practical training module was created on ETI Base Code.


Sustainable Grapes Initiative, India
IDH - Stakeholder Roundtable Member of the Advisory Committee

'Developing A More Sustainable Indian Table Grape Industry'
Mack Multiples - One of the largest suppliers of fresh produce to the UK and the leading importer of table grapes from Nashik, India, approached IRFT to implement a three-year project on 'Decent Work' in the Grapes Supply Chain.

The aim of the 'Developing A More Sustainable Indian Table Grape Industry' project, was to address the following issues:
Insecurity and long-term business sustainability and profitability of grape farmers due to product quality, agronomic practices and low-skilled transient work force.
Low level of awareness and expectation of labour and human rights among largely female migrant workers at grape farms and at processing levels.

The project is being carried out in Nasikh district which is the grape capital of the country. It is a three-year project which began in June 2016 and is targeted towards Mack Multiples exporters and their field and pack house workers. Touching the lives of around 300 people and their families, the project will introduce new and more remunerative varieties of table grapes in the country, set-up systems and good practices towards uplifting the livelihoods and enhancing social and financial opportunities for the beneficiaries. As experts on Decent Work and Social Aspects, IRFT's main role is in working with the communities on establishing these aspects and more sustainable systems in the grape supply chain.


MINING INITIATIVES

Responsible Mining Foundation - A charitable non-profit org. based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It was established to encourage continuous improvement in responsible mining in the minerals & metals industry by highlighting leading practice and transparently ranking the performance of mining companies on economic, environmental, social & governance issues. It aims to achieve this by creating and publishing an independent Responsible Mining Index on biennial basis.

The Roundtable Consultation on Responsible Mining Index, in conjunction with IRFT, was held at New Delhi followed by a field visit to Zawar Mines, Udaipur.

IRFT developed and implemented 'Child Labour Compliance Monitoring' programme in Mica Mines in India, in which IRFT will be assisting mica mines to comply with 'No Child Labour' and 'Child Education'.


SEED INITIATIVES

Syngenta Seeds Inc.
Child Labour and Health, Safety Environment Interventions in 3 locations, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Gujarat.

The training aimed at developing acceptance of the need to take positive steps in the Code of Conduct compliance, through effective communication tools that disseminate the core messages and simplify the code of compliance as beneficial to all stakeholders involved.

Syngenta 'Me & Mine' was replicated in 9 APAC Countries with training to Syngenta Staff in Bangkok. In the last Six years since inception, the programme has been replicated in 18 countries. The Syngenta 'Me & Mine' concept won the best CSR awards from Syngenta International AG.

Syngenta Seeds Ltd.
2nd Phase of 'Syngenta Me & Mine', programme - Health, Safety & Environment in the field operation pilot project in two Syngenta locations, Warangal & Eluru and to be further replicated in other states and countries of Syngenta presence.

The brand and Identity of the Code of Conduct training programme as 'Syngenta Me & Mine', to establish an ownership of the programme with the representing visual.

IRFT CODE OF CONDUCT

CHILD LABOUR

Children below the age of 14 years shall not be hired. In the case of hiring of young workers, requirements as per the local law must be adhered to.

  • Facility shall have a policy and procedure on child labour.
  • Children below the age of 14 years shall not be employed. Remediation activities of those employees, who are already engaged in employment, shall be the sole responsibility of the Employer, to provide for adequate financial assistance of their education and initial financial support that they may require, till they have completed 14 years of age.
  • Facility shall comply with all laws and regulations pertaining to young employees. Young employees shall not be involved in any hazardous work and employment conditions should be in accordance with local laws.
  • Facility shall maintain age verification records for all employees at the time of recruitment.
  • C5 Minimum Age (Industry) Convention, 1919 (India ratified) C
    138 Minimum Age Convention 1973(India Not ratified)
    C6 Night Work of Young persons (Industry) Convention 1919 (India ratified)

FORCED LABOUR

Forced labour in any form shall not be used or contracted by the Facility.

  • Forced labour in the form of bonded, indentured or prison labour shall not be contracted or employed.
  • Employees shall receive written contracts from their Employers, and shall be free to terminate their employment without any interference whatsoever.
  • Facility shall not withhold any original documents of employees.
  • Wage advances shall be in line with legal requirements and these shall be communicated to all employees.
  • C5 Minimum Age (Industry) Convention, 1919 (India ratified) C
    138 Minimum Age Convention 1973(India Not ratified)
    C6 Night Work of Young persons (Industry) Convention 1919 (India ratified)

Freedom of Movement – Employees shall have the right to leave the Facility without any restriction from the Employer. Further employees shall be allowed to move freely for rest breaks.

  • C29 Forced Labor Convention 1930 (India ratified)
    C 105 Abolition of Forced Labour Convention 1957 (India ratified)

NON-DISCRIMINATION

Discrimination of any form shall not be practiced.

  • Hiring process shall be free of any distinction, exclusion or preference on basis of gender, age, religion, race, caste, social background, nationality, membership in worker’s organizations like unions, political affiliation, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, health status or any other condition that indicates discrimination or harms equality of opportunity in employment.
  • Facility shall provide equal pay for equal work and shall pay wages based on the work profile and performance. Revision in pay scale shall be based on a defined skill matrix or on basis of performance.
  • C100 Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (India Not ratified)
    C111 Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (India ratified)

HEALTH & SAFETY

Facility should have safe and healthy working environment to avoid any workplace hazards.

  • Facility shall provide a safe and hygienic working environment bearing in mind all the structural requirements of the facility.
  • Facility shall have a comprehensive health and safety policy and create defined procedures for dealing with specific hazards.
  • An effective health and safety committee must be established in the facility having equal representation from the employees and the employer.
  • Relevant health and safety records must be must be maintained. Effective review and update should be conducted over a period of time.
  • Employees shall receive regular health and safety trainings and the same shall be recorded and upgraded as per requirements.
  • Facility should make provisions for effective fire safety, chemical safety, electrical safety and occupational hazards.
  • Workplace should have access to potable drinking water, clean toilet facilities and where required sanitary food storage facilities and canteen.
  • Accommodation facilities where provided shall be clean, safe and shall meet the basic necessities of the workers.
  • The Facility shall have some qualified personnel for ensuring all the health and safety requirements.
  • C155 Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 1981 (India Not ratified)
    C187 Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention, 2006 (India Not ratified)

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION

Employees must be given the right to freely associate and bargain collectively.

  • All the employees have the right to freely associate or form trade unions of their own choosing and bargain collectively.
  • Employer shall not interfere with the activities of the union and the same shall not have any impact on their employability.
  • Regions where right to freedom of association and collective bargaining is restricted under law; the employer shall encourage the formation of a parallel means of worker representation.
  • Worker representatives shall have the provisions to carry out their functions in the workplace and have complete access to all the employees.
  • C87 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize Convention, 1948 (India Not ratified) C98 Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949 (India Not ratified)
    C135 Workers' Representatives Convention, 1971 (India Not ratified) C154
    Collective Bargaining Convention, 1981 (India Not ratified)

WORKING HOURS

Employees are not encouraged to work more than 60 hours in any week, including overtime. Employees must have one rest day during a seven-day period. Overtime hours worked are consensual and are compensated at a premium rate.

  • The regular work hours for an employee shall be nine hours in a day including any breaks and under any event they shall not exceed the legal limit. Employees are not encouraged to work more than 60 hours in any work week including overtime hours.
  • Overtime work shall be compensated at a premium rate and shall be purely voluntarily, only after being agreed upon by the worker.
  • An employee shall get adequate rest breaks during a work day. All employees are entitled to at least one weekly off or rest day in a seven-day work period and all employees are entitled to earned leave as per the local law.
  • An accurate time keeping system shall be maintained which reflects the actual number of hours worked by the worker.
  • C1Hours of Work (Industry) Convention, 1919 (India ratified) C14
    Weekly Rest (Industry) Convention 1921 (India ratified)

WAGES, BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION

Wages and Benefits shall be provided to all employees as per the local law and shall be provided on a timely basis.

  • Facility shall pay at least minimum wages stipulated as per the law. Employer shall be responsible for paying all legally applicable Social Security benefits or any other remuneration that may be applicable to the pertaining Industry.
  • Wage payments shall be timely and in accordance with the local law.
  • There shall be no deductions from wages earned, without notification to the employee along with his consent. Any illegal deductions and those made for disciplinary actions shall not be permitted.
  • Overtime payments shall be made in accordance with local law.
  • Payroll records shall be maintained in accordance with the law, must be accurate, should contain all payments made. A single and accurate record of all related documents shall be maintained. Payment details of all employees on roll must be maintained by the Principal employer.
  • All employees shall receive at the time of wage payment, a monthly statement of their wages which includes a breakup of wages earned, number of days worked along with the number of hours worked, including regular and overtime hours, and Social Security benefits.
  • C 95 Protection of Wages Convention 1949 (India Not ratified)
    C 102 Social security (Minimum Standards) Convention 1952 (India Not ratified) C 131
    Minimum wage fixing convention (India Not ratified)

LEGAL COMPLIANCE

Legal documentation pertaining to the Facility, including but not limited to Structures, Installations, and Operations must be valid and available for review.

REGULAR EMPLOYMENT

The Facility must have hiring policy and procedure in place.

  • All employees hired must be provided with an Employment Contract and must be ensured regular employment. Subsequent contractual employment shall not be taken to avoid social security benefits extended to the employees.

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