According to a report by Oxfam Brasil released on Wednesday, Carpor, Grofo Big and Pao de Acucar – the three largest Brazilian supermarkets, Grupo Big and Pao de Acucar, do away with the best practices of corporate responsibility, sustainability and human rights commitments. 13). Together, they reached an average of 4%, and in its chains a company solely responsible for human rights would earn 100%.
Document behind your purchase – Analysis of corporate responsibility with respect to human rights in the largest Brazilian supermarket production chain Based on an analysis of publicly available corporate policies, statements and commitments on three supermarket websites in relation to four policies Was prepared Topics – transparency and accountability, rural workers and small farmers and family farming, and women’s rights in rural areas. The analysis was performed from July to September 2020.
“We analyzed the supermarket, this time the documentation. What we have seen is that there is very little commitment and very little informed practice. Typically, Gustavo Feroni, coordinator of the private sector, inequality and humanities sector at Oxfam, said there would be a “very general code of conduct for suppliers, which does not specify conditions and which discloses very little information”.
He says that it is not currently known whether in particular, the three largest supermarkets in Brazil do so to ensure that rural fruit workers are not exploited, that their contract is not informal, that they have water and toilets Are, or that are audits. Production chain. “When you talk to rural unions, they complain a lot about it, they say that rural I have complaints [sobre o trabalho no campo] And I don’t know where this fruit is going, because supermarkets don’t tell me whether they buy from this farm or not, “he said.
“In some cases, we have seen that Pão de Açúcar demands from its suppliers that the wages paid to workers guarantee the minimum quality of life, it is not enough to be the minimum wage, at least it is written, But they do not say how to inspect and guarantee that. Carrefour and Big also do not mention it in their code. In the case of Big Group, the language was very soft, should be very flexible in terms of salary, “he said .
The information collected by Oxfam was tabulated in a scoring system. Separately, Pão de Açúcar had the best performance with 6.5%, followed by Carrefour’s 2.7%, and Grupo Big’s 2.2%. When placed in front of the largest European and American supermarkets in a list of 19 companies, Grupo Pão de Açúcar is tied for fourteenth with Albertsons from the US, while Carrefour and Grupo Big hold the final positions.
Even showing better results in relation to its national peers, Brazil’s three biggest people had lower valuations than expected, Oxfam showed. “When analyzing the available documents, it appears that, when compared with other large supermarkets in Europe and the United States, Carrefour, Grupo Pao de Acucar and Grupo Big have room to move forward in their practices and commitments. The report will, thus, align with, “Best Practices Around the World.”
In the context of rural production
Brazil’s rural sector leads to a significant productive chain of great economic success and that feeds large companies around the world. But the report suggests that behind these chains are rural workers, small farmers and women, who are exposed to low wages, erratic work and even toxic products.
Oxfam believes that improving the commitments and practices publicly disclosed by markets can contribute to reducing problems in the country’s production chain. And he adds to that economic and social inequality – which extends to the agricultural sector – is not accidental, but is sustained by the action or inaction of the public and private sectors.
“We can definitely say that the supermarket’s most urgent responsibility lies in two places: in fresh food chains, where they are hunted, close to rural areas, where food is produced, and own-brand food products. Saath, which is directly connected to the supermarket ”, added the organization.
Given the current state of guaranteeing human rights in the retail food production chain in Brazil, these companies can positively affect the future of the sector. “Our goal is to encourage supermarkets, which play an important role in this and are the main places where most Brazilians buy their food, improving surveillance and accountability for the human rights of rural workers and family farmers,” Feroni said.
For that, large companies that anchor and articulate production chains affect the behavior of suppliers. “We know reality, Oxfam publishes studies on rural reality, other civil society, education and government organizations publish studies. So we know that the chains have problems, that coffee workers face problems, as well as sugarcane, livestock, fruit, so there is definitely a relationship, and supermarkets need to take their responsibility and do more, “They said.
According to the report’s data, the supermarket retail sector is economically important to the country, representing more than 5% of GDP, achieved sales in 2019 of R $ 378.3 billion and accounted for 1.8 million direct jobs. . Only the three largest supermarkets – Carrefour, Grupo Big and Poio de Acquar – control 46.6% of the area in the country.
“Of course, we expect more from big companies, responsibility should be assigned according to size and capacity. So, when we talk about Brazil’s three largest supermarkets, which are part of large multinational groups, we expect far more than we get [no relatório]”she added.
Grupo Pao de Acquar (GPA) said in a statement that it aims to be an agent in building a new social, environmental and governance agenda for a more inclusive and sustainable society. Regarding the report, “GPA understands that each country’s social realities and peculiarities have to be understood and understood, including socioeconomic, regulatory and production process differences that impact policies and practices related to the production chain, but its Understand the role with the protagonist to support this change ”.
“The company, which had the best overall score among Brazilian players, believes that, due to the complexity of the retail value chain, this is a path that needs to be pursued consistently, in a multi-sectoral manner. Retail is a link, a relationship between suppliers and customers, and an important opportunity to develop new practices in the supply chain to build a future that enhances positive impacts for a more equitable and sustainable society ”, he concluded.
Big Group said in a note, “The company did not have access to the contents of this content and therefore, would not comment”.
Purchased by Agência Brasil, Carrefour did not send the position.