Our farmers are a crucial part of our economic, environmental and social footprint. Firm in this belief, Godfrey Phillips India is working with many farmers across Vinukonda region,Andhra to promote and establish sustainable tobacco farming.
A comprehensive program under Agricultural Labor Practices (ALP) has been implemented that aims to improve labor practices and progressively eliminate child labor on all farms from where we source burley tobacco.
Stringent standards and expectations have been communicated to all farmers, and extensive resources have been directed towards monitoring conditions on farms, bringing practical solutions to problematic practices and implementing GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) for the farmers.
The following 7 principles of the ALP Code help us achieve a safe and fair working environment for all:
- Child Labor: There is no employment or recruitment of child labor. The minimum age for admission to work is not less than the age for the completion of compulsory schooling, is not less than 15 years or the minimum age provided by the country’s laws, whichever affords greater protection.
- Fair Treatment: There is no physical abuse, the threat of physical abuse or intimidation of workers and farmers. There is no tolerance for sexual abuse of women workers. There is no discrimination on the basis of race, caste, religion, colour, gender, political affiliation, union membership such as worker representative, ethnicity, disability, citizenship or nationality and pregnancy.
- Forced Labor: All farm labor is voluntary. Workers do not work under bond, debt or threat, no identity documents or wages are held back, and they receive wages directly from the employer.
- Safe Working Conditions: The workers are provided a safe and sanitary working environment, and all reasonable measures are undertaken to prevent accidents, injury and exposure to health risks. Protective equipment for handling crop protection agents/pesticides, awareness on tobacco plant related sickness (GTS), access to safe drinking water and toilets fall under this principle.
- Freedom of Association: Workers and farmers are free to join or form organizations and unions of their own choosing, and to bargain collectively.
- Compliance with the Law: The Country’s employment laws are complied with and all workers are informed of their legal rights and the conditions of their employment when they start to work.
- Income & Work Hours: Wages of all workers meet, at a minimum, the requirements of the country’s laws or agricultural benchmark standards. The work hours are in compliance with the country’s laws.
This principles are ingrained within our internal system. There is a diverse team in place to ensure implementation, monitoring, and evaluating the effectiveness of the ALP program. Godfrey Phillips has also partnered with an NGO to aid in the social impact through ALP.
Extensive training sessions on seven principles of the ALP for Field Technicians, farmers and the workers. Pamphlets are also distributed for ensuring that farmers and workers are constantly reminded of the code.
The After School Program for children keeps children back in school while providing nutritious snacks and conducting various recreational activities like yoga, traditional dance forms and sports. This allows the parents to leave children in a safe environment while they work on farms.
The farmer provides a safe and sanitary working environment, and takes measures to prevent accidents, injury and exposure to health risks.
All workers are informed of their legal rights and the conditions of their employment when they start to work.
Afforestation efforts have been undertaken to assist the farmers with secondary earnings.