Social heart beat

Human rights in manufacturing hit the spotlight recently. European justice makers agreed to a slimmed-down version of a directive aimed at ensuring that companies take more responsibility for abuses in their supply chains.

The belief is that there is insufficient support among EU countries for a directive requiring companies to protect their supply chains against human rights and environmental abuses. At the end of 2023, after years of discussion, an agreement in principle was finally reached between the European Parliament and the member states. This European directive, the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), obliges large companies to detect and subsequently address risks in their supply chains.

Ceel Elemans , sector banker food ING, who keeps abreast of trends & developments and is focused on a sustainable food chain, notes that the CSDDD directive requires companies to pay more attention to human rights and the environment in their production and supply chains.

“The EU member states recently reached an agreement after initial resistance,” he states. “It is high time to work on fair production chains and stand up for workers in local communities. Food companies would do well to take action themselves.”

He is urging food companies to take responsibility for what happens in production and stamp out abuses, if only from a cost standpoint. Elemans argues that consumers are well aware of manufacturing practices, so why would businesses take the risk? You can’t disagree. It’s hard to ignore corporate social responsibility in an era of social media.

It’s not good enough to plead ignorance anywhere along the supply chain. Elemans is right. It is time for food companies and supermarkets to show their social heart (more) by seriously tackling human rights abuses in their production chains, he wrote in a Dutch magazine.

Talking about the Netherlands, he adds: “Dutch (food) companies can of course take their responsibility for fair production chains. In fact, no legislation should be necessary are for fair production chains.”

In the pursuit of fairness in the supply chain, there should be equitable distribution of opportunity, resource, and benefit.

Related content

Leave a reply

Food and Drink Technology