A report released today by Amnesty International suggests companies are turning a blind eye to exploitation of workers in their palm oil supply chain. TFT recognises that labour issues exist in the industry and applauds those working to address them. However, we also feel that our members, through their work with TFT, are taking positive steps and working hard to uncover and tackle the different forms of labour exploitation clearly endemic in the palm oil industry.
The companies we work with (our members) span the entire length of the palm oil supply chain – from global brands to growers. They have all published responsible sourcing policies, which include strong commitments on labour and human rights. These policies provide the firm basis on which we drive our work together forward.
This work begins by helping them to create a policy based on their own values. We then put together a work plan to implement their new policy on the ground. This is based on transparency, with the key goal being transformation. By going out into the field with our members we are able to find the most prevalent and impactful issues and agree practical solutions to address them. This is TFT’s simple VTTV (Values, Transparency, Transformation, Verification) model, made vastly complex by the enormous scale and diversity in palm oil supply chains.
When our work in palm oil began in 2010 the focus was primarily on uncovering deforestation, peat degradation and impacts on communities. Labour standards are now an integral element. In the course of rolling out this schedule of visits, the prevalence of systemic issues associated with worker welfare and rights has come to light. In response, we are working with our members, looking at how we can best tackle these issues.
TFT CEO Bastien Sachet encourages multi-stakeholder collaboration between TFT members, other major players in the industry, expert service providers and NGOs. “We want to collaborate with all stakeholders and develop workable solutions,” said Bastien. “We will continue to support our members to implement their No Deforestation and No Exploitation commitments in the drive for responsibly produced palm oil, and expect to see real tangible examples of success on the ground as firm steps towards transformation are now being taken.”
Some of our palm oil members have their own dashboards where you can monitor their progress in implementing their palm oil policies.
Golden Agri-Resources http://goldenagri.com.sg/sustainability/sustainability-dashboard/