The GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP) add-on and the Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA )standard were highlighted in a webinar held on 17 January titled “Preventing and mitigating human right risks – A contribution to local social development”. 

The webinar was the second part of the Food Security Standard (FSS) Due Diligence Webinar Series organized by Meo Carbon Solutions, a German consulting company with a focus on sustainable development, and Welthungerhilfe (literally “World Hunger Help” in English), a German non-profit organization that was created with the goal ofending hunger and poverty. FSS is a certification standard that businesses can adopt to assess and verify compliance with the human right to food.

This webinar series was designed to provide producers and other supply chain stakeholders with effective tools as they prepare for compliance with current and upcoming supply chain due diligence laws. Many of the new due diligence laws have been enacted to enforce the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights among corporations throughout the supply chain. Parts of the global food and agriculture supply chain are at special risk of human rights violations because of where and how many food and agriculture products are produced.

Due diligence legislation: a global trend

The webinar began with a presentation by Max Jürgens, attorney at Graf von Westphalen, who explained the legal aspects of the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz(LkSG)). This law, which came into effect on 1 January 2023, focuses on human rights risks and the activities and risk management systems that companies must fulfil to prevent these risks. 

The LkSG is similar in scope to legislation recently enacted in other countries, such as the Modern Slavery Act in the UK and the Duty of Vigilance Law (loi de vigilance) in France, and reflects a broader trend among nations of adopting legislation enforcing human rights in the global supply chain.

IFA v6 andGRASP v2: an effective compliance mechanism

Following Mr.Jürgens’ legal briefing, Alexandre Garcia-Devís Flores, Social Compliance Expert at GLOBALG.A.P., presented our labor and human rights solutions, which are tailored to the food and agriculture supply chain. He explained how IFA v6 combined with GRASP v2 serves as a mechanism to facilitate farms’ and supply chain stakeholders’ compliance with due diligence obligations, and how these tools prevent and mitigate human rights risks in farming activities.

“First,” said Mr. Flores, “we introduced GRASP from a general perspective, explaining briefly what it’s for and its adaptability to all kinds of farms (smallholders, family farms), and then we moved to a more technical stage in which we explained the content of GRASP v2. In the last and most important part of the presentation, we connected GRASP v2 with the due diligence obligations that companies mustfollow to comply with the law. We presented GRASP as a tool that helps to strengthen risk management systems by monitoring, identifying, preventing, and correcting human right risks, creating more transparency in the supply chain.”  

In the third part of the webinar, FSS representative Lisa Heinemann introduced attendees to the FSS tool and how it serves to prepare businesses for compliance with the new legislation.

More about GRASP

GRASP is GLOBALG.A.P.’s farm-level social and labor management tool for global supply chains. The tool includes assessments on four main topics: workers’ voice, human and labor rights information, human and labor rights indicators, and child and young workers protection. 2022 saw over 110,000 producers successfully demonstrating compliance toGRASP and employing more than 1.7 million agricultural workers worldwide. 

GRASP v2 is a recently updated version of the GRASP add-on. “GRASP v2 contains much more efficient principles and criteria for forced labor risk indicators, the protection of human rights, and potential exposure to worker discrimination, explains GLOBALG.A.P. expert Alexandre Garcia-Devis Flores. “GRASP adapted the criteria to the reality of migrant labor flows, short-term contracting, and subcontracting labor risk s. Producers now have better processes to provide social compliance to complicated labor resources. GRASP can now be applied to small family farms without hired labor. This opens up the opportunity for smallholders to participate in the international market.” 

GRASP v2 is now available and will become obligatory on 1 J anuary 2024. Learn more here about how adopting GRASP can help you establish a good social management system on your farm and prepare you for compliance with due diligence legislation.