• May 21, 2024

PMI Reports on Ag Labor Practices

 PMI Reports on Ag Labor Practices
Photo: PMI

Philip Morris International has published its Agricultural Labor Practices: 10-Year Anniversary Report. The report recognizes the company’s decade-old agricultural labor practices (ALP) program, which launched in 2011 with the aim to eliminate child labor and to achieve safe and fair working conditions on farms where PMI sources tobacco.

“In marking the 10-year anniversary of our ALP program and the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor, we have developed a comprehensive report to reflect on the progress we’ve made while acknowledging that accelerated action is more urgent than ever,” said Jennifer Motles, chief sustainability officer, PMI, in a statement. “We are acutely aware that poverty and inequality are at the root of child labor and other human rights issues. Through our focus on living income, we aim to build resilience in our farming communities, provide new and alternative sources of revenue, and improve income levels and households’ livelihoods.”

Updated in 2019 to include its living income target, PMI’s ALP program is an ambitious and comprehensive effort to improve labor practices in a global agricultural supply chain. The report reaffirms the company’s commitment to continue protecting, promoting, and supporting the socioeconomic well-being of tobacco-farming communities. This includes the ambition to achieve 100 percent of its contracted farmers paying at least the legal minimum wage by 2022, zero child labor in its tobacco supply chain by 2025, 100 percent of its contracted farmers making a living income by 2025, and 100 percent of contracted farmers supplying tobacco to PMI to have basic water access by 2025 and access to basic sanitation and hygiene by 2030.

These strategic ambitions continue to build on ALP targets already achieved in previous years, which include providing safe and decent accommodation to workers, and ensuring 100 percent of farmers and workers have access to personal protective equipment for the application of crop protection agents and prevention of green tobacco sickness.

These strategic ambitions continue to build on ALP targets already achieved in previous years, which include providing safe and decent accommodation to workers, and ensuring 100 percent of farmers and workers have access to personal protective equipment for the application of crop protection agents and prevention of green tobacco sickness.

Through our focus on living income, we aim to build resilience in our farming communities, provide new and alternative sources of revenue, and improve income levels and households’ livelihoods.

Jennifer Motles, chief sustainability officer, PMI

In commemoration of the 10-year anniversary, PMI is also partnering with Verité to integrate its learnings into an open-source toolkit that will aid companies, suppliers, and producers in driving improvements in labor practices of agricultural supply chains around the world. The initiative, called the “Verité Farm Labor Due Diligence Toolkit,” is part of an action pledge Verité has made in support of the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labor.

The toolkit will draw on the insights developed during Verité’s collaboration with PMI on the ALP program, as well as Verité’s work with other clients. PMI will join a coalition of other private-sector sponsors convened by Verité to support the toolkit initiative, helping to prioritize, develop and promote the materials to be included within.

“By continuing to collaborate with our partners such as Verité, we further strengthen our foundations, scale our efforts, and share our learnings to improve agriculture labor practices,” said PMI Head of Social Impact Anna Kletsidou. “As the company delivers a smoke-free future, we are expanding into electronics—leveraging our ALP learnings, PMI remains alert to environmental and social impacts created by this supply chain and is developing robust strategies to address them.”

Since its implementation, PMI’s ALP program has showcased the importance of partnership, digitalization, and continuous improvement. Earlier this year, PMI commissioned a publication focused on climate justice and the interconnectivity between environmental and social issues, recognizing the impact of climate change on human rights and the need to develop coherent and inclusive strategies.