Human Rights

We are committed to respecting internationally recognised human rights throughout our operations, and we use the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to help us assess the relevant policies and processes to put in place. Our sustainability policy commits us to respecting, supporting and upholding fundamental human rights, and we encourage the application of our policy amongst our business partners including contractors, suppliers, trading and joint venture partners.

We have a number of procedures in place to help us embed our policy throughout our operations. These include trainings, governance structures, contractual provisions and relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). For instance, we have an SOP which describes our Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) procedure to ensure that we respect the rights of communities over their land, and we have an SOP which describes the relevant grievance procedures for communities living in and neighbouring our estates.

All of our employees are unionised and we have Collective Bargaining Agreements in place at both Palm Bay and Butaw estates which provide detail on a number of the labour rights we have committed to, including our commitment to respect the freedom of association of all employees and our support to full time trade union representatives at both Palm Bay and Butaw. We have a grievance channel for our employees which is helping us assess and address worker issues. Trade union representatives called shop stewards are present on the fields with our workers on an ongoing basis and play a key role in bringing worker issues up to management. We have a number of processes in place to ensure the safety and good health of our workers, including providing relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), conducting regular training, and updating our health and safety risk assessments on a continuous basis. When we expand into a new areas of operation, such as the construction of our new 30MT mill (with an option to expand to 60MT), we conduct environmental and social risk assessment to help us manage our risks.

We are eager to understand better where our human rights risks lie so that we can better address them. To this end, we have been working with Anna Triponel, a business and human rights expert with extensive experience in the UN Guiding Principles. Through this process, we identified our salient human rights areas, in other words, those areas that we should be paying attention to as a priority because this is where we have the potential to harm people in the most severe way. Our salient human rights issues include, as a high-priority, issues related to contractor wages and employment status, accidents on the plantations due to uneven terrain or use of chemicals, the impact of our use of land on communities, employee housing conditions, the health and wellbeing of our executives, and exercising the right to freedom of association. These are the impact areas that we are dedicating the most resources to addressing and strengthening through a range of actions. Other human rights areas that we are looking at, which we deem as medium-priority using the lens of risk to people, include transportation accidents, child labour, transportation of pregnant workers and employee living wage. We have made the executive summary of our human rights impact assessment work public, and we will be providing updates on the actions we have taken and our lessons learned on our human rights journey in due course.

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