Workers' and human rights


1.1 billion people work in agriculture globally, 300-500 million of them work as hired employees. Yet despite the critical jobs they perform, agricultural workers remain among the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.


As a leader in social and environmental sustainability, SAN is ready to partner with businesses and other organizations, to protect the rights and improve the livelihoods of agricultural workers.

Labor conflicts can affect productivity, reputation and put entire supply chains at risk. They also usually result in the loss of income for workers. We believe in and help build work relations that are mutually beneficial for both companies and workers.

Responsible farms and value chains are managed in accordance with national laws, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (including the protection of workers’ rights as defined by the ILO eight fundamental conventions).

How to address this issue

  • Elimination of coercion, harassment, or discrimination in any form against workers
  • Elimination of forced labor and the worst forms of child labor
  • Protection of workers’ rights to associate, organize, and collectively bargain
  • Provision of access to grievance mechanisms
  • Payment of legal minimum wage, or wages negotiated collectively, or living wages paid
  • Ensuring equal remuneration for equal work between men and women
  • Provision of potable water for workers
  • Good housing conditions for employees and their families, when living on the farm
  • Provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and proper training to avoid and reduce accidents
  • Implementation of effective management systems, policies, procedures and improvement plans related to labor issues

SAN Support

SAN provides a best-in-class tool as part of its SAN Standard to protect workers’ rights, help workers meet basic needs, and provide fair and safe working conditions. We can drive positive change along supply chains by guiding producers and companies through a stepwise process toward better social and environmental outcomes.

To help farms and businesses to implement and improve socially responsible practices, we design customized solutions including Assurance Services such as diagnostics, assessments, definition of indicators, monitoring and evaluation and reporting on the status of well-managed farms in relation to workers' and human rights.

We also provide Capacity Development assistance, such as coaching and on-the-ground training, across multiple farm management and labor rights issues. In addition, we implement Innovation & Change projects to integrate private and public sector groups, and multi-stakeholder dialogues; we help deliver programs to improve working conditions, as well as worker and company relations, at regional and/or multinational levels.