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Good practice example: Food & Beverages - Human Rights - Policy, Targets and Due Diligence
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Food & Beverages - Human Rights - Policy, Targets and Due Diligence

J is a company producing food and beverages and apparel and textiles. J’s supply chain is linked to high risk commodities for both environment and human rights (such as timber, cotton or palm oil). J implements a human rights policy covering the following aspects:

  1. Commitment to respect human rights in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code, applicable for:
  1. supplier code of conduct,
  2. contractual requirements,
  3. identification of salient human rights issues, their prevention, mitigation and remedy.
  1. J identifies the following salient human rights issues:
  1. J also provides a summary of KPIs next to targets set for responsible sourcing:

Due diligence

  1. Process to identify human rights risks includes:
  1. The risk assessment identifies high risk countries where J puts higher standards in place to protect workers (eg. joining the ILO’s Better Factories Programme and the Bangladesh Accord in Vietnam and Bangladesh).
  2. J performs audit of high risk suppliers, including worker interviews,  documents reviews and  trade unions and NGOs engagement.
  3. J discloses which sources of information were used for the risk assessment (eg. worker interviews, documents, self risk assessment questionnaire, Global Slavery Index, Wilberforce Institute’s Study of Slavery and Emancipation).
  4. Space for improvement: Assessment of how the company’s purchasing policy and practices may contribute to the risks of adverse impacts on the workforce.
  1. Actions taken to prevent and mitigate all identified human rights issues include:
  1. requiring that all factories have an audit in place (performed by an independent auditor with local knowledge) and meet the requirements of the supplier code of conduct before placing orders with J,
  2. monitoring of working conditions in the supply chain,
  3. training the managers and workers on site.
  4. J also provides specific examples of mitigation of negative impacts (eg. during the Syrian migrant crisis in Turkey J partnered with a local human rights specialist to carry out detailed risk assessments at all facilities. They did not uncover any exploitation, however, they found low levels of worker representation. J worked with suppliers to deliver training to workers and factory managers on setting up worker unions on sites).
  1. Affected people are involved in steps 1. and 2. by interviews and training.

This level of reporting can be found in John Lewis Partnership’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2018/2019, available here: 

Modern Slavery statement 2018/2019, available here: 

and Annual Report 2019, available here: