Chips Labor Conditions Question 1

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Question

Does the brand (company) have a policy to provide for fair labor conditions for all own employees, those of its suppliers and for farmers in low wage countries, that include at least the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace?

  • Dutch version: Heeft het merk beleid voor eerlijke arbeidsomstandigheden voor alle eigen werknemers, die van zijn toeleveranciers en van boeren in lage loon landen, dat minimaal de volgende standaarden bevat: geen gedwongen arbeid, geen kinderarbeid, geen discriminatie van welke aard dan ook en een veilige en hygiënische werkplek?
  • German version: Hat der Markenhersteller einen Verhaltenskodex für Zulieferer und eigene ArbeitnehmerInnen (Code of Conduct, CoC), in dem die folgenden Standards enthalten sind: keine Zwangs- oder Sklavenarbeit, keine Kinderarbeit, keine Diskriminierung jeglicher Art sowie ein sicherer und hygienischer Arbeitsplatz?

References and Guidelines

As mentioned in Chips Environmental Policy Question 6, most brands produce its chips locally. This means that for example, chips sold in Europe or the United States are manufactured in Europe or the U.S. And this also means that chips that are sold in China, India, or Mexico are also produced in those countries.

In addition, many of the ingredients that go into chips, like corn and palm oil, have known human rights and labor violations issues and can be sourced from non-OECD countries. The only ingredient that some chips brands use which can carry a fairtrade certification is palm oil, but since the majority of raw materials cannot be certified, we currently only ask that a brands to have a Code of Conduct.

The standards concerning forced labor and slave (bonded) labor are based on the International Labour Organisation ILO Conventions 29 and 105. The standard concerning the minimum employment age (i.e. no child labor) is based on ILO Convention 138 and 182. The standard on no discrimination is based on ILO conventions 100 and 111 and the right to a safe and hygienic workplace is based on ILO convention 155.

Please note that the Code of Conduct must apply not only to a brand’s own employees but also to its suppliers. In this sector, most suppliers are the farmers who provide raw materials; therefore a CoC must apply to them as well.

Also note that if a brand produces all its products in and sources all its raw materials from OECD countries only, a CoC is not necessary.

Please note that a ‘Yes’ is also applicable when: all the brand products/ingredients are made in ‘low risk’ countries, see the list as defined by Made By (see p.7). Or at least 30% of the production volume come from SA8000 certified factories.

Answering Guidelines

Answer Yes:
• All standards are mentioned in (brand) Code of Conduct (see page).
• All products are made in ... and sourced from …, which are low-risk countries as defined by Made-By.

Answer No:
• [... and ... is / are] mentioned. However, [... and ... is / are not mentioned].
• [Brand] provides a Code of Conduct (CoC), but this does not apply to its suppliers.

Answer ?:
• [Brand] mentions a Code of Conduct (CoC), but does not communicate the CoC on its website.
• [Brand] provides a Code of Conduct (CoC), but suppliers are only encouraged to comply with the CoC, not obliged.
• [Brand] does not communicate any information on a Code of Conduct (CoC) on its website. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices.
• [Brand] does not communicate any information on a labor conditions policy on its website. Sustainability information should be easily accessible for consumers to make responsible choices.