Respect for human rights is a fundamental value of Grain Millers.
We strive to respect and promote human rights in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in our relationships with our employees, suppliers/vendors, and contractors. Our aim is to help increase the awareness of and respect for human rights within the communities in which we operate.
This policy applies to Grain Millers and the facilities that we manage. The Company also expects independent suppliers to uphold these principles and urges them to adopt similar policies within their own businesses.
We use due diligence as a means to identify and prevent human rights risks to people in our business and value chain. Should we identify adverse human rights impacts resulting from or caused by our business activities, we are committed to provide for or cooperate in, their fair and equitable remediation. We seek to promote access to remediation where we are linked to or involved in those adverse impacts through our relationships with third parties.
The Human Rights Policy is overseen by Grain Millers leadership, including the President.
Among others, we view the following constituents as stakeholders in our Human Rights Policy:
We recognize that we are part of the communities in which we operate, and that at each location there are several overlapping “communities.” Where appropriate, we engage with our communities on human rights matters that are important to them. Our aim is to ensure through dialogue that we are listening to, learning from, and considering their views as we conduct our business. We believe that local issues are typically best addressed at the local level.
We take a proactive approach to foster the protection and advancement of Human Rights, and we strive to measure the impact our actions in the Human Rights arena have on our various stakeholders.
We track training provided in human rights fields, audits we undertake at our facilities and at our suppliers’ facilities, expenditures for maintaining strong management systems.
We value and advance the diversity and inclusion of the people with whom we work. We are committed to equal opportunity and are intolerant of discrimination and harassment. We work to maintain workplaces that are free from discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, sex, color, national or social origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identification or expression, political opinion, or any other status protected by applicable law. The basis for recruitment, hiring, placement, development, training, compensation, and advancement at the Company is qualifications, performance, skills, and experience.
We do not tolerate disrespectful or inappropriate behavior, unfair treatment, or retaliation of any kind. Harassment is not tolerated in the workplace and in any work-related circumstance outside the workplace.
We respect our employees’ right to join, form, or not to join a labor union without fear of reprisal, intimidation, or harassment. Where employees are represented by a legally recognized union, we are committed to establishing a constructive dialogue with their freely chosen representatives. The Company is committed to bargaining in good faith with such representatives.
The safety and health of our employees is a core value that we place second to nothing. Our policy is to provide a safe and healthy workplace and comply with applicable safety and health laws and regulations, as well as internal requirements. We work to provide and maintain a safe, healthy, and productive workplace, in consultation with our employees, by addressing and remediating identified risks of accidents, injury, and health impacts.
We are committed to maintaining a workplace that is free from violence, harassment, intimidation, and other unsafe or disruptive conditions due to internal and external threats. Security safeguards for employees are provided, as needed, and are maintained with respect for employee privacy and dignity.
We prohibit the use of all forms of forced labor, including prison labor, indentured labor, bonded labor, military labor, modern forms of slavery, and any form of human trafficking.
We prohibit the hiring of individuals that are under 17 years of age.
We compensate employees competitively relative to the industry and local labor market, and in accordance with terms of applicable collective bargaining agreements. We work to ensure full compliance with applicable wage, work hours, overtime, and benefits laws.
We recognize the significant implications regarding respect for human rights that land use and water use across our value chain may have. We typically purchase ingredients directly from farms, and as such we are compelled, based on our values as a major buyer of agricultural commodities, to use our influence to help protect the land rights of local farmers and communities. Through our Sustainable Grower Program and other support and advocacy efforts, we pursue a rights-based and fact-based approach to sustaining the social license for agriculture. We consult with governments, communities, and other stakeholders to implement source water protection plans where needed and wastewater control programs at our facilities.
We are committed to providing healthy and nutritious whole-grain food ingredients to enable consumers to make dietary choices consistent with a healthy lifestyle.
We encourage our employees to participate in various healthy lifestyle activities through sponsorships and agreements with health and leisure facilities.
We provide periodic screening and training, such as hearing screening and ergonomic practice training, health and welfare tips, and bulletins, in order to promote healthy lifestyles to our employees.
We strive to create workplaces in which open and honest communications among all employees are valued and respected. The Company is committed to complying with applicable labor and employment laws wherever we operate. The Company also ensures employees are aware of the Human Rights Policy through training. Any employee who believes a conflict arises between the language of the policy and the laws, customs, and practices of the place where he or she works, or who has questions about this policy or would like to confidentially report a potential violation of this policy, should raise those questions and concerns with local management or Human Resources. No reprisal or retaliatory action will be taken against any employee for raising concerns under this policy. The Company will investigate, address, and respond to the concerns of employees and will take appropriate corrective action in response to any violation.
The Human Rights Policy is aligned with the Company’s Code of Ethics.