Does your business respect human rights?
A guide for small and medium-sized companies in the food cluster
Whether you are a large multinational company or a small/medium-sized enterprise (SME), the expectations of your CSR efforts are on the rise.
A basic expectation of any company is that they respect human rights and take a structured approach to any challenges in their value chain. This process is known as human rights due diligence. But what does this due diligence entail? What is expected of you as a company? What specific measures can you take? And when have you done enough? That’s what this guide is about.
Who is this guide for?
This guide is developed for small and medium-sized businesses in the food cluster, i.e., companies with between two and 250 employees working in agriculture, horticulture, fisheries, fish farming, agroindustry, food production and ingredients. Carrying out due diligence for human rights is relevant, regardless of whether you are in the B2C or B2B market, importing, exporting or having your own production in Denmark.
How to get started
You can read the guide from start to finish, or select specific parts of the guide that you want to focus on. However, it should be emphasised that the entire guide is important, and that you as a company will reach your goal by integrating all parts of the process into your way of doing business.
What is the purpose?
The objective is for your company to be able to comply with international standards and live up to the expectations of your stakeholders. We guide you on how to best carry out due diligence for human rights – regardless of your company size and resources. The guide provides inspiration for where to start and how to strengthen your current processes. It offers advice on how to find the best solutions for challenges along the way as well as inspiring case stories from relevant companies that are already well on their way.
How can you use it?
The guide contains the 6 steps that any company must go through, if they are serious about human rights due diligence. Each step is based on international guidelines and the entire process is important.
Each of the 6 steps has its own section in the guide. Use the guide as a starting point and review its guidance along the way. Work dynamically through each step based on the actual circumstances of your company and remember to look for ways to incorporate the steps into your already existing processes. We hope you get on well with your work.
“For business, the most powerful contribution to sustainable development is to embed respect for human rights across their value chains. And business respect for human rights is not a choice, it is a responsibility.”
– UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
The 6 steps of due diligence
What does human rights due diligence entail? Click the link below to learn more.
See how others manage human rights
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About this guide
This guide is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses in the food cluster, i.e., companies with between two and 250 employees working in agriculture and horticulture, fisheries, fish farming, agroindustry, food production and ingredients. Human rights due diligence is relevant whether you are in the B2C or B2B market, importing, exporting or have your own production in Denmark.
The purpose of the guide is to assist SMEs perform human rights due diligence, regardless of size and resources of the company. The guide provides inspiration for how to begin and how to strengthen your current processes.
The guide was prepared by the Danish Initiative for Ethical Trade, in collaboration with the Danish Agriculture & Food Council and Arla Foods, and co-sponsored by the Danish Business Authority. The guide may not be changed, reproduced or translated without prior written permission from the Danish Initiative for Ethical Trade. If used in a teaching context, it must be with a clear acknowledgement of the partners behind the development of the guide, crediting them clearly, including use of relevant logos.