The complaint, filed by a group of Argentine and Dutch NGOs, alleges that Nidera has abused the human rights of temporary workers at its corn seed processing operations in Argentina. Based largely on official reports by Argentine government departments, the complaint details the poor living and working condition at the seed plants and how workers were kept in the dark about the sub-standard conditions during the recruitment process.
The complainants call on Nidera to develop and implement an effective company-wide human rights policy and commitment including concrete human rights due diligence procedures. Such procedures are necessary for identifying, preventing and mitigating actual and potential adverse human rights impacts throughout its global operations, in particular regarding hiring and employment processes of temporary workers in detasseling.
Relevant OECD Guidelines
The NCP conducted an initial assessment and accepted the case for further consideration. After a series of meetings enabled by the NCP in which the parties discussed the issues in the complaint, an agreement was reached. As part of the agreement, Nidera strengthened its human rights policy, formalised human rights due diligence procedures for temporary rural workers, and allowed the NGOs to monitor its Argentine corn seed operations through field visits. A final statement issued by the Dutch NCP on 5 March 2012 confirmed the positive outcome of the dialogue between the parties. Both parties thanked the Dutch NCP for providing an environment that enabled constructive dialogue and discussion.
As was foreseen in the agreement that concluded the case, the complainants were allowed to monitor the implementation of the agreement during the 2011-2 summer corn detasseling season. The complainants visited fields and campsites, interviewed workers, and documented working and environmental conditions photographically. In their report, the complainants confirmed that Nidera had complied with all of the conditions of the agreement. Workers health and safety conditions were satisfactory, and workers themselves reported their contentment with the improved conditions.
Additionally, Nidera complied with its commitment to implement an operational-level grievance mechanism and produced its first-ever corporate responsibility report in line with the GRIs G3.1 Guidelines.
In February 2013, the parties submitted a joint ‘One Year On’, report to the NCP. The report details how the agreements made in the 2012 joint statement were monitored, including through joint field visits to various corn fields.
The case serves as a model for how agreements in Guidelines cases can be followed up upon. . The One Year On report is annexed to OECD Watchs submission to the 2013 NCP meeting and available on the OECD Watch website.
- Company in violation
- Affected people
- Date rejected / concluded
- 5 March 2012