The study provides an overview of human rights risks along the value chain for selected sectors of the German economy. This gives companies a basis for analysing and realigning their business processes in order to respect human rights along the value chain.
Forced labour, child labour, and inadequate wages are human rights risks with particular relevance in the food and beverage industry along the international value chain. Within Germany, there are also serious cases of labour exploitation by migrants or health risks for workers through the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
This is just a brief insight into the human rights risks from one of the eleven industry portraits from the 315-page report on respecting human rights along global value chains.
Human rights in 100 sectors of the German economy
In addition to the food and beverage industry, a total of 100 sectors of the German economy were initially examined from a human rights perspective. In a second step, the study reduced its focus to eleven industries based on certain criteria. The human rights risks are presented in separate industry portraits, as well as the national and international industry activities with which the sector takes responsibility for human rights due diligence. In addition, links to further industry activities are provided.
The report as a source of information and decision-making aid for companies and the federal government
This analysis helps German companies assume responsibility for respecting human rights. The information about human rights risks in the value chain and their location can serve as a starting point for internal company analyses. In addition, the report also supports the work of the federal government to protect human rights: the findings serve as a decision-making aid for which sectors need support. With this report, adelphi makes a contribution to the implementation of the Federal Government's National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (NAP).
Germany's National Action Plan for Business and Human Rights (German)
In addition to the analysis of the human rights risks in the portrait of the food and beverage industry, the report also contains a presentation of the industry-relevant guidelines, associations and initiatives for the respect of human rights along the value chain as well as points of contact for future industry activities and dialogues between the federal government and industry. The recommendations and possible starting points include:
Expansion of industry initiatives to further stages of value creation (current focus is on raw materials)
Development of a complaint mechanism at industry level
Greater involvement of the food retail trade in the design of sectoral activities
Further starting points and the detailed portrait of the food and beverage industry as well as ten other industry portraits can be found in the report.