Socially responsible cultivation
Fruit and vegetables can have global supply chains. Globally there are large challenges connected to working conditions within agriculture. Therefore, it is important to specify requirements that protect workers rights within the agricultural operations from which products are purchased.
- Technical specification
- Sugar and rice
Products supplied during the contract period must be cultivated under working conditions compatible with:
- Fair working conditions1
- The working environment legislation that is applicable in the country of production
The producer should be guaranteed a minimum price covering average costs, a price premium on the world market price, long term trade relations and pre-financing.
1 See the Appendix "International Conventions".
- Certification in accordance with an international standard, e.g. Fairtrade or equivalent
- Supplier declaration (e.g. report of inspection conducted by an external, independent third party)
Subject matter of contract
Sustainable production of sugar and rice.
Information about the criterion
This criterion covers fresh fruit and vegetables as well as products made from these. The criterion is relevant for raw materials produced in risk-countries outside of Sweden.
Fresh fruit and vegetables often lack a unique identification in the form of GTIN and the corresponding article information in the digital system. Therefore, follow-up can require significant resources, for both the purchaser and the supplier. The availability of products on the market that comply with the requirements can vary within different product groups. Evaluate the availability by conducting a market analysis.
More about how to undertake a market analysis (in Swedish)
More about GTIN and identification of fruit and vegetables (in English)
The criterion is a complement to the National Agency for Public Procurement's contact terms regarding working rights
The criterium for socially responsible cultivation can be used to achieve a certain degree of sustainability for a specific product. The criterion can be used as a complement to the National Agency for Public Procurement's contract terms for working rights in accordance ILO's fundamental conventions and sustainable supply chains and, which can be applied if a needs assessment shows that the contracting organization is required to apply working rights requirements in accordance with the Public Procurement Act (LOU) Chapter 17. §§ 2-5. If the work is conducted in countries where Swedish law is not applicable, then terms and conditions shall be in compliance with ILO's fundamental conventions.
Criteria service (in English)
Needs assessment (in Swedish)
Different production-and control systems for certification which verify the criterion have been established. The organizations have chosen different approaches such as minimum-price, farming methods, increased product quality, increased yields and access to markets. Some independent international studies show that different organizations despite different methods contribute to creating of sustainable conditions for farmers.
The market availability of fruit, nuts and spices from socially responsible cultivation have increased during the latest years. Supply can satisfy a possible demand for these products.
Regarding fresh fruit, the availability may vary more than for dry products depending on season, harvest and other aspects.
There are large challenges connected to working conditions and respect for human rights within food production. The problem is more widespread in countries with a poor track record of compliance with labour law legislation, but even in other countries violations of human rights can occur. Migrant workers and other vulnerable groups risk being exploited as they do not dare, or have the possibility of, demanding their working rights which can include, for example, an employment contract, a reasonable wage, and the freedom of association.
Many workers within fruit and vegetable cultivation are seasonal workers. In countries with shortfalls in legislation and compliance, many seasonal workers find themselves in a vulnerable position in relation to their employer and often have poorer working conditions than permanent workers.
By specifying requirements for basic working rights and respect for human rights, the lives of many workers, and their families, can be improved.
Read more about the risks within the fruit and vegetable sector in our risk analysis service.
Risk analysis service (in Swedish)
Many of the fruits we eat every day are grown in developing countries. Working conditions on plantations are often poor and wages so low that they do not cover the employees' most basic living expenses. Many people working in the fruit industry are seasonal employees, which means that they are employed for a fixed period to harvest the fruit. Seasonal employees are often in a vulnerable position toward their employers and often have worse working conditions than permanent workers on the plantation.
Spices and herbs are grown all over the world; India is the largest producer overall. Prices vary depending on many factors, making it difficult for farmers to secure their income to support themselves and their families.
This requirement is intended to help improve working conditions for people who are employed in the cultivation of fresh fruit, nuts and spices.
The version date indicates when the sustainability criterion was created or last updated. Last reviewed dated tells when we last checked that the sustainability criterion still is relevant.
- Current ID
- Version date
2023-02-07, Requirement ID 10397:2: New version number. Changes from technical specification to special contract term, but in practice retains the same meaning. Refined to include the ILO's core conventions. Former spearhead level has now been given its own unique requirement ID 11537 for increased clarity in digital systems. Added proposal for follow-up; Sustainably Grown Certified, Global GAP add on GRASP.
2016-12-16, ID 10397:1 Changed varification text, Evidence Rainforest alliance at base level, Fairtrade at spearhead level, new subgroup fruit.