On 16 October, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) celebrates World Food Day. This year the event calls on all stakeholders to take action to make sustainable food affordable and available to everyone.
At amfori, we have taken the opportunity to reflect on our contribution to meet this goal. While access to healthy diets is crucial to achieving a #ZeroHunger world, food products should also be produced and traded in a socially and environmentally sustainable way.
Protection of human rights and of the environment are issues of concern in food and beverage supply chains. amfori supports retailers, brands and importers to conduct human rights due diligence in their food and beverage supply chains for the over 2500 producers recorded in our platform.
What have we learned so far?
The most pressing sustainability risks are found at farm level.
Food supply chains are often labour-intensive, reliant on seasonal workforce and migrant workers. Those are most exposed to precarious working conditions and vulnerable to abuses, including excessive hours with low wages.
Monitoring supply chains beyond tier 1 is an imperative for many of our members. amfori BSCI supports their endeavours through:
- An extended amfori BSCI auditor qualification
- A multi-tier audit protocol to assess a food processor or packhouse together with a sample of its farms
A robust human rights due diligence strategy is not limited to audits.
Awareness raising and collaboration along the supply chain are key to communicate and foster sustainability practices. amfori BSCI supports its members to engage suppliers in the due diligence process and to leverage the work of sector-specific standards through partnerships with organisations like the MSC Chain of Custody standard, EQUALITAS or GLOBAL G.A.P.
High-value products are not immune to sustainability risks.
This is the case, for instance, of wine. Workers employed in grape production are susceptible to risks that range from verbal abuse, limitations of freedom of movement to exploitation by unscrupulous labour brokers.
To catalyse coordinated interventions in this supply chain, amfori implements a Sustainable Wine Programme, which brings together retailers and importers of alcoholic beverages and offers a platform of exchange and collaboration. Started in 2017, the Sustainable Wine Programme has already trained 400 company representatives from wineries and associated businesses in South Africa, Italy, Chile, and Argentina.
Check out our new series of wine factsheets on environmental hotspots.
To improve our “menu” of services, we will keep on learning by engaging with food and beverage researchers, panel discussions, conferences and most importantly, by having regular consultations with our members through the Project Groups. To join our discussions, apply today!