Agri lobby against anti-child labour bill

10-04-2008 | | |

The International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) in the US has accused commodity companies Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Cargill of lobbying against a bill that would protect against child labour practices in supply countries.

According to ILRF, ADM and Cargill are against a particular section of the Farm Bill which calls for the voluntary certification of child labour status in relation to agricultural imports, in an effort to stamp out the practice.
ILRF claims that ADM and Cargill have started “an aggressive lobbying effort” in the House of Agriculture for the bill not to be passed.
The accusation is in contrast to their corporate literature in which ADM and Cargill both pledge sustainable labour practices.
Bama Athreya, ILRF executive director, in an interview with said that the lobbying by the two companies means that they do not want to be held accountable for these sustainability claims.
In the past, ADM and Cargill have made promises to support sustainable sourcing and issues such as child labour and pesticide use.
Farm Bill recommendation
In section 3104 the US Farm Bill calls for voluntary certification of child labour status of agricultural imports. A standard set of practices is suggested that will verify that agricultural imports brought into the US are not produced with forced or child labour.
The bill puts forward several requirements, including traceability and inspection across the supply chain, stakeholder participation in the supply chain, and onsite inspection.