The industrialization of agriculture, intended to help feed the earth’s growing population, has had unintended environmental and social consequences. Food operations powered by fossil fuels to produce and ship foods around the world, the overuse of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and the enormous quantities of animal waste and other “externalities” are fouling the soil, air and water. Food-related companies that commit to “agroecology” or sustainable production that minimizes environmental and social impacts will preserve both the planet’s resources and the loyalty of consumers who are increasingly demanding sustainably produced foods.
Featured ICCR Initiative
ICCR works towards securing food justice in an age of climate change, supporting a just and sustainable food system that respects the universal human right to food and the right of communities to produce, process, distribute, access, and eat healthful food. We are asking companies in the agriculture supply chain to adopt a Sustainable Agriculture policy (with board oversight) on how it will:
Respect the universal human right to food
Sustainably, equitably & responsibly source key commodities; working with publicly disclosed suppliers to meet commitments. Publish progress on these targets annually.
Seek to mitigate the impact of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cover the entire value chain, from the sourcing of materials to consumers’ use of products and product disposal
Decrease and eventually eliminate reliance and improper use of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides, which threaten human and environmental health in the long term
Protect the ecosystems, including setting goals on water and soil conservation and quality, protection of wildlife,
Ensure safe working conditions and living wages, throughout the supply chain meet international labor standards established under International Labor Organization Conventions 177. This includes freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively, fair working conditions that protect workers’ health and safety, an anonymous grievance process to register and address labor violations, and public recognition that all agricultural workers should earn enough to meet the basic needs of their families – a ‘living wage’.
- Ensure women are able to participate equally at every level of the company and that they confirm fair treatment.
- Promote women’s empowerment in the workplace, and women’s control of land they farm.
- Company publically assesses the number and gender of small-scale farmers and workers currently in the supply chain. It conducts participatory and transparent assessments of social and environmental impacts of operations and sourcing on farmers, workers, women and affected communities.
- Implement zero tolerance for land grabbing (as defined under the Tirana Declaration) and water grabbing. A zero tolerance policy should be implemented throughout a company’s agricultural operations. Company policy should ensure free, prior and informed consent of farmers and rural communities
Featured Best Practice
- ICCR Statement of Principles and Recommended Practices for Sustainable and Equitable Food Production
- Scaling Up Agroecology: A Tool for Policy
- Oxfam Behind the Brands