The United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association worked together to develop an Ethical Charter for Responsible Labor Practices. ( Courtesy Produce Marketing Association, United Fresh Produce Association )

The United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association have jointly unveiled the Ethical Charter on Responsible Labor Practices for the fresh produce and floral supply chains.

Development of the charter began nearly three years ago when the boards of directors of each association formed the Joint Committee on Responsible Labor Practices to develop an industrywide framework, according to a news release.

The committee was made up of produce and floral suppliers and buyers, and used input from association members, key stakeholders and public comments to develop the Charter, a set of guiding principles and values that draw upon employment law, good management systems as well as sound safety and health practices.

Specific areas in the guiding principles — many with the underlying theme of adhering to the law — include:

  • Occupational safety and health
  • Wages and benefits
  • Working hours
  • Communication and worker protections
  • Protection of children and young workers
  • Humane treatment and non-harrassment
  • Ethical recruitment

The PMA and United Fresh boards approved the charter in January, with more than 40 companies formally endorsing it, including retailers, foodservice companies and fresh produce and floral companies.

The boards of PMA and United Fresh approved the Charter in January, with more than 40 companies formally endorsing it, including retail and foodservice companies and fresh produce and floral companies, according to the release.

United Fresh and PMA are now encouraging their members to also endorse the Charter.

More information about the Ethical Charter, including the charter itself, measurement criteria, an employer self-assessment tool, guidelines for responsible buying and more, is available at www.ethicalcharter.com.

 
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