Food and Beverage
Food and beverage workers provide sustenance to seven billion people but often work in an unregulated environment that leaves them vulnerable to exploitation.
Agricultural commodities play a fundamental role in the global economy and world food supply. Agriculture represents the largest employment sector in most developing countries and is a primary driver for sustainable development, poverty reduction, and food security. Yet for millions of people, agricultural work and other forms of food production mean low wages, increased vulnerability for human trafficking, and even child labor. Companies in the food and beverage industry operating in challenging environments find that social, political, and environmental risks collide if their operations are not managed within a human rights framework.
Companies are beginning to come together around common standards for human rights in different parts of the food industry. The Fair Labor Association has done innovative work on cocoa farming in West Africa and vegetable seed production in India. Oxfam's Behind the Brands campaign has created a common framework for comparing the performance of companies in the food and beverage industry.