ADM Sustainable Agriculture Policy 2014
|Company||Archer Daniels Midland Company|
|Filer||Sisters of St. Dominic (Caldwell, NJ)|
|Subject(s)||Climate Change; Greenhouse Gas Emissions; Human Rights; Supply Chain; Water Pollution; Water Scarcity|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Company and suppliers adopt a comprehensive sustainable agriculture policy|
Whereas: As populations increase, climate change negatively affects crop yields, and food insecurity persists, sustainable agricultural supply chains are becoming even more important.
Companies like Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) that rely on agricultural inputs should ensure that the growers in their supply chain practice sustainable agriculture that 1) protects the environment, conserves water resources, responsibly manages fertilizer, and reduces soil erosion; and 2) protects the human rights of workers with policies for fair wages, safe working conditions, freedom of association, and ethical recruitment standards. We commend ADM’s membership in important initiatives including Field to Market and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and its creation of the Socially and Environmentally Responsible Agricultural Practices (SERAP) program.
Global estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organization indicate that agriculture accounts for roughly 70% of all water withdrawals. In the United States, water pollution from agriculture is the number one cause for impaired waterways, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Sustainable agriculture often results in less pollution and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, more fertile soil, and increased biodiversity in the surrounding ecosystem(s).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “agriculture ranks among the most hazardous industries,” as farm workers face low wages and dangerous working conditions. Migrant and seasonal farmworkers, including men, women, or young children, are often victims of labor trafficking or exploitative and illegal labor brokers.
ADM customers such as Unilever, General Mills and Coca-Cola have adopted comprehensive sustainable sourcing policies for agricultural products. Recognizing that sustainable sourcing helps it “manage a core business risk,” Unilever will sustainably source 100% of its agricultural raw materials by 2020. Coca-Cola’s approach to sustainable agriculture is “founded on principles to protect the environment, uphold workplace rights and help build more sustainable communities.” Agricultural producers that are not operating responsibly pose risks to the environment, communities, and the buyers that rely on their outputs.
The 1990 Farm Bill defines sustainable agriculture as a system that will: 1) satisfy food and fiber needs, 2) enhance environmental quality and the natural resources underlying the agricultural economy, 3) maximize efficiency of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources, integrating natural biological cycles and controls, 4) sustain the economic viability of farm operations, and 5) enhance the quality of life for farmers and society.
ADM supports the need of a growing world by connecting crops and markets in more than 140 countries on 6 continents. ADM has over 265 processing plants that rely on key agricultural inputs; we believe that processors have an obligation to promote sustainable agriculture, including the human rights of workers, to mitigate risk in the supply chain.
Resolved: Shareholders request that the Board of Directors adopt a comprehensive policy to require the Company's key agricultural suppliers to report their performance relative to best management practices for irrigation, nutrient management, labor standards, pesticide application, and greenhouse gas emissions, and include a summary of this information as part of its annual sustainability report to shareholders (prepared at reasonable cost and excluding proprietary information).