Philip Morris International marks progress in addressing labor issues in tobacco-growing.
New report highlights tangible improvements, challenges, and ongoing efforts around the world
Lausanne, 31 March 2016 - Philip Morris International Inc. (“PMI”) today released its ThirdAgricultural Labor Practices (ALP) Program Progress Report on the implementation of its global approach to improve labor conditions on 450,000 farms across nearly 30 countries. The ALP program is a part of the company’s commitment to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in its tobacco-growing supply chain, which supports farmers in improving productivity and the quality of their crops, respect for the environment, and in achieving safe and fair labor practices on farms.
Speaking following the release of the report, Miguel Coleta, PMI’s Sustainability Officer, said:
“Our Third Agricultural Labor Practices (ALP) Program Progress Report presents a candid account of our progress, challenges, and achievements in improving labor conditions on over 450,000 farms worldwide during 2014 and 2015. While a lot remains to be done, it is encouraging to see tangible progress, including significant reductions in child labor in several countries, due to the hard work of more than 3,500 trained field technicians and strong partnerships with over 30 not-for-profit organizations.
We hope that by sharing our learnings, our approach serves as an example of a transformative, holistic system to address complex social and labor issues, not only in tobacco but in agriculture more widely.”
PMI's global program partner, Verité has guided the development of the company’s ALP Code and the approach to dealing with labor issues in tobacco-growing.
Speaking about the report, CEO of Verité, Dan Viederman commented:
“With its commitment to the global ALP program these past five years, PMI has earned the right to be considered a leader among multinationals in tackling the serious labor issues endemic to complex agricultural supply chains. In this latest progress report on the program, PMI offers useful detail on how it developed and rolled out this ambitious effort, and provides a candid account of the program’s initial achievements and ongoing challenges. Verité looks forward to continued close collaboration with PMI in this critical and innovative work.”
Key highlights from the Progress Report include:
Detailed insights from our internal farm-by-farm monitoring system – implemented on a global scale, gives greater visibility into the working and living conditions of over 2.5 million people and guides the decision-making to address systemic issues. Examples include improvements in worker accommodation in Mozambique and reductions in child labor in Ecuador and Turkey.
External monitoring system from independent auditors, Control Union (CU) – country-specific external assessments show the risks and issues identified on farms, as well as PMI’s affiliates and/or suppliers’ plans to help farmers to continuously improve.
An overview of local initiatives by country to address systemic issues on farms (chapter 5 of report) – an integrated approach, linking operational investments to promote sustainable tobacco production with the funding of local community programs implemented by over 30 not-for-profit organizations. Examples include the combination of novel labor-saving techniques on farms with community programs to provide access to education for children.
A special focus on migration: internal, cross border, and large migration fluxes – there are an estimated 100,000 migrant workers in PMI’s supply chain at some stage during the crop season. Examples include efforts to support seasonal migrant workers in Mexico, involving local government and NGOs, and a public-private partnership with International Organization on Migration (IOM) in Italy to facilitate migrant workers’ integration and to avoid exploitation and trafficking through strengthening registration processes.
In 2011 PMI launched its global Agricultural Labor Practices program through a strategic partnership with internationally-renowned leading NGO in the field of supply chain responsibility, Verité External reference. With the ALP program, PMI has set strict standards, trained over 3,500 field staff to monitor the implementation of the program and Code on approximately 450,000 farms worldwide. As a result, PMI and its suppliers are training, monitoring and, most importantly, supporting farmers to achieve safe and fair working conditions on their farms.
PMI is fully transparent about the rollout of its ALP program and detailed information on progress can be found here.
Source: Philip Morris International Inc.
About Philip Morris International Inc. (“PMI”):
PMI is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six of the world's top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the development and commercialization of Reduced-Risk Products (“RRPs”). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabilities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and industry-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements. For more information, see www.pmi.com and www.pmiscience.com.
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