Working Conditions: Unpacking Labour Risk in Global Meat Supply Chains Phase 3 | FAIRR Initiative

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FAIRR invites PRI signatories to join Phase 3 of its collaborative engagement targeting six of the largest global protein producers to address labour risks in their supply chain. The engagement will continue to address existing structural human capital risks and support the meat industry’s long-term sustainability. Deadline to join, 3rd July 2023.

Collaboration details

Building on two successful years of collaborative engagement, FAIRR’s Working Conditions engagement is now open for Phase 3 sign-on. 2022 saw constructive dialogues held with six of the target companies to discuss labour risk in their operations and supply chains. This year, we are working to define short-term vs long-term aims, reiterate best practice examples, and further tailor dialogues to the high-risk areas and opportunities of each company. These elements will be informed by the findings from Phase 2, highlighted in our progress report.

The companies engaged are:

  • BRF SA
  • Cranswick
  • Marfrig
  • Tyson Foods
  • WH Group

FAIRR’s Unpacking Labour Risk in Global Meat Supply Chains: Phase 2 Progress Report shows how the livestock industry’s heavy reliance on human capital amplifies the material impact labour issues have on the business. The report also highlights how the continued failure to address poor working conditions in meat processing remains a driver of labour shortages that cause immediate material damages to producers, including unexpected costs, contracted production capacity, disruption of operations and food supply chains globally.

Addressing labour practices in the meat sector is particularly important when it comes to recent, key industry issues including recent child labour violations, which highlight the need for greater oversight and controls from meatpacking companies of their workforce. Greater recognition is needed from companies in their policies, disclosures, and practices of the importance and significance of worker voice in identifying risk within operations.

There is a clear need to strengthen the labour standards and corporate practices of animal protein producers to mitigate labour risk in the industry. This is particularly relevant in the face of broader industry trends that pose serious human capital challenges, such as the transition to a green economy and automation. Strong labour management strategies which utilise Just Transition principles will be instrumental to defining the social impact of future food production.

Long term management of labour risk, focused exclusively on meat producers across regions is not currently addressed through existing investor engagements. Analysis by FAIRR has shown that even where labour policies are compliant with the International Labour Standards (ILS), animal protein companies are not disclosing clear evidence of enforcement and tracking, reducing the ability of investors to monitor the effectiveness of risk management systems.

Please see the attached engagement letter template for more details.

Engagement contact: Sian Jones, Senior ESG Analyst,

Created on
ESG theme
  • Environment
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Decent work
  • Modern slavery inc. forced labour
  • Consumer Staples
Sustainable Development Goal
  • 3 - Good health & well-being
  • 5 - Gender equality
  • 8 - Decent work & economic growth
  • 10 - Reduced inequalities
  • 12 - Responsible consumption & production
  • 16 - Peace, justice & strong institutions
  • Brazil
  • China
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
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