FPAA Supports Members in Social Responsibility Efforts
The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas supports members and their growers in developing best practices in social responsibility throughout the supply chain.
FPAA members encourage their growers to continually raise the bar in worker conditions by providing clean housing and sanitary facilities, top-grade medical care for families, and progressive education opportunities for workers and their children.
Mexico's labor market is highly competitive. Growers understand that responsible worker treatment is a key factor in productivity and worker retention. Farms have social workers on site to monitor working conditions, including complaint resolution systems in place for workers.
While wages and benefits may vary, most famrs offer:
- Competitive Wages and contributions to social security
- Safe and secure working conditions and modern housing
- On site medical care and health education, with some growers offering dental care
- Adult literacy classes, as well as schooling and scholarships for children.
- On site schools, daycare and nursuries for workers with families
- Healthy meals, sports activities, and recreation areas
- Life skills training that teaches workers how to live in modern society
Growers work hard to provide housing and services exceeding living conditions many workers would experience at home. In fact, for many workers and their families, the only time they are ever able to conveniently access a health care provider is when they are working.
Fresh fruits and vegetables distributed by FPAA members are grown on farms certified to stringent social responsibility standards, including the following:
- ESR (Empresa Socialmente Responsible, or Socially Responsible Company) - Administered by Cemefi (Mexican Center for Philanthropy) Read more >>
- Fair Trade Federation - A direct, cooperative, and in-depth relationship between buyers and sellers that keeps all of the principles of fair trade at the forefront. Read more >>
- SQF Level 3 - This certification by Safe Quality Food Institute encompasses best practices in Social Responsibility, plus Good Agricultural Practices and Supply Chain Security. Read more >>
- SA 8000 - Establishes labor standards around the world and incorporates international agreements, including those of the International Labor Organization (ILO), the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on Child rights and Corporate Practices. Read more >>
In all, Mexican growers have set new standards for socially responsible farming practices. Many growers are actively involved in the community, offering scholarships to family members, supporting food and clothing banks, not to mention hosting community sports programs.
One need only look to the Mexican state of Sinaloa for an example of how Mexican farmers are providing for the children of their workers, according to this article in El Diario De Sinaloa.
According to the article, farms near Culiacan, Navolato and Elota provided care for more than 17,000 children in 96 daycare and schooling centers in 2013.