Apr 3, 2019
Driscoll’s worker health and safety program recognized

Berry industry heavyweight Driscoll’s had its worker health and safety program recognized at an international event.

Driscoll’s was awarded the best Health and Safety Labor Program globally at the 2019 Sedex Awards, held in London, in recognition for the company’s comprehensive approach to labor compliance, which addresses systemic worker welfare issues.

Driscoll’s labor program, which complements the company’s focus on prioritizing sustainable business practices, is built in partnership with hundreds of independent growers that grow and harvest berries sold under the Driscoll’s brand to ensure the well-being and dignity of each farmworker.

Driscoll’s in 2015 implemented global labor standards representing criteria where laws did not exist, were not consistently enforced or provided lower protection to the workers. The company continues to use a third-party audit process to confirm these standards are adhered to by the family of independent growers.

“Supply chain actors along with global and local institutions must work together to introduce solutions that ensure a stable future for farms and ensure the agriculture industry remains a viable option for both farmers and all workers,” said Candida Barbato, Senior Workforce Manager for Driscoll’s. As an integral part of developing and managing the labor program, she accepted the award on behalf of Driscoll’s. Barbato thanked the team and independent growers for translating a global vision into an everyday reality.

Driscoll’s also works with its network of independent growers to ensure legally-required social security benefits are distributed even in geographies where industry practices don’t support it. Driscoll’s collaborates with local government agencies, NGOs and independent growers to increase worker access to education and public services in rural areas, support registration processes, and educates the local workforce to best access their social security benefits. The benefits of this program have reached over 40,000 local workers and their families in Mexico and Morocco to date.

Sedex is a global membership organization dedicated to driving improvements in ethical and responsible business practices in global supply chains. Sedex has offices located in London, Santiago, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo and is also home to SMETA (Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit), one of the most widely used social audit methodologies in the world.

Above photo: Fair Trade

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