The farmers who grow the herbs and spices do not always earn enough income to be able to invest, while this is very important for their children and for the continuity of their business. No poverty and no hunger are close to each other. To combat both of these, Verstegen is working hard on solutions.
To combat poverty, Verstegen is actively involved in the Living Wage Lab. This initiative examines what a living income is for farmers in the countries of origin and also whether the farmers also receive that income. It is discussed earlier what a living income is and what you can do to achieve that.
In addition, Verstegen has drawn up a training program for pepper farmers. The training allows farmers to reduce fertilizer consumption and improve the quality and quantity of their yield. This increases the farmer's income and contributes to the reduction of poverty. We do this together with GIZ.
Despite the fact that more than 152 million children under the age of 15 have to work for their livelihood or that of their families, Verstegen does as much as possible to combat child labor. The Convention on the Rights of the Child entered into force in September 1990. Verstegen has been striving for a transparent chain without child labor for years. We are in constant dialogue with all our suppliers to ensure that no child labor takes place in the cultivation of herbs and spices. Every supplier who collaborates with Verstegen signs our purchasing conditions (see article 32.1), which state that there must be no child labor. By doing business directly with farmers and producers in the countries of origin and by visiting them, Verstegen keeps a close eye on this.
"Verstegen goes for a transparent chain without child labor and strives to ensure that the children of our farmers, suppliers and employees do not work at a young age."
Introduction of the duty of care for child labor
On May 14, 2019, the initiative proposal on the introduction of a duty of care for child labor was adopted in the Senate. The bill asks companies to declare that they are doing what is necessary to prevent child labor. The legislation promotes transparency and accelerates targeted actions by companies to seriously tackle child labor in their supply chain. Verstegen supports the bill.
Suppliers are stressed to article 32.1: States Parties recognize the right of the child to be protected from economic exploitation and from performing work that is likely to be dangerous or to hinder or harm the child's education will be for the health or physical, mental, intellectual, moral or social development of the child.