Social Dialogue and CSR in the Sugar Sector

The examples of good practice constitute a living document and annex to the CSR Code of Conduct of the European Sugar Industry.

The examples of good practice should be considered as a source of inspiration and exchanges of good practice. They illustrate a positive social behaviour going beyond the minimal standards as described in Part II of the Code of Conduct.

They will be regularly updated and any improvement will be assessed.

 

Human rights

Danisco Sugar, Denmark, 2001
In 2001, in an effort to ensure equal and fair treatment of all Danisco Sugar employees, irrespective of geographical location, the company decided to draw up a new common HR policy for the entire organisation.
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Agrana Zucker, Austria.
The information and consultation of the works councils is regulated by the law governing the employment system. The implementation is part of the social dialogue.
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Eastern Sugar Rt, Hungary, 2003
In 2003, the new Labour Code reinforces the obligation of equal and fair treatment irrespective of sex, nationality, race, religion, type of work contract, etc.
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Education and Training

Südzucker AG, Germany
vocational training Young people participate in a solid training and get a qualified job opportunity for their start into the working life. A part of the apprentices who have finished learning is transferred to an unlimited employment, in order to replace fluctuation and/or employees reaching the age limit.
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Suiker Unie / CSM, Netherlands, 1998-2003
Two groups were targeted with specific goals: – it was necessary to upgrade the level of knowledge of the present operators in order to achieve combined tasks – To prepare qualified successors
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Hellenic sugar industry, Greece, 1993-2004
Higher education graduates lack the practical expertise which will enable them to adapt in a direct and productive manner to the professional qualifications of their specialty. The Hellenic Sugar Industry therefore designed and implemented an extensive project of recompensed practical training for graduate students of third-grade education.
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France, 2003
Within the context of lifelong vocational training, reactivation of special scheme introduced in 1994 with a view to : – Improving employee skills and qualifications – Maintaining employment
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Nordzucker  Germany 1999
After the creation of Nordzucker training programs and education were different among the factories.
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Pfeifer & Langen, Germany
Improvement in the skills of coming/future executives
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France  2003/2004
A professional qualification certificate (CQP) as a packing machine operator in the sugar industry has been introduced under a joint agreement in the profession, with the organisation of a trial session in 2003 and another session in 2004.
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Eastern Sugar Rt, Hungary, 2003
Professional practise University and high school students should spend a few weeks each summer in a company for acquiring practise.
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France, as from 2004.
Vocational training Harmonisation of Professional Qualification Certificates (CQP) in various branches of the food industry. Within the framework of a working group on training set up at the national association of the food industries (ANIA – of which the SNFS and the CSRCSF, representing refiners and conditioners, are members), it was observed that a substantial number of CQP had been created and introduced by the different branches belonging to this association: machine operator, production-line operator, logistician, etc. But it also emerged that, in the case of machine operator for example, some activities were identical for packing sugar, coffee biscuits or even prepared meat products.
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Health and Safety

Danisco Sugar, Denmark. launched in 1996 the project is still running today.
In 1996 Danisco Sugar’s management set a target of significantly reducing the number of industrial accidents at the Danish production sites.
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France, 1995
There was a need to share information with the social partners on the question of prevention in order to improve health and safety in sugar factories.
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Agrana Zucker, Austria, 1999
The Leonardo project has been implemented to back current safety measures.
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Italy All companies through the Italian Association of Sugar Industries (Assozucchero) 1996, 1999 and 2003
Working conditions to be improved through the workers awareness of health and safety measures and procedures to be adopted by companies. The main idea is that results in this area need the involvement of workers, affirming that good results are their responsibility, too.
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Nordzucker  Germany since 1997
Safety at work and health protection are part of the legal requirement and part of the Nordzucker policy. The goal is the reduction of number of accidents and the improvement of presence rate.
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Pfeifer & Langen
Reduction in the number of accidents and absences due to accidents, and training of executives and other employees.
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France  2003/2004
Every year, French sugar companies have a day-long national meeting on health and safety at the workplace. This meeting is devoted to the presentation of themes relating to health and safety (current legal topics or technical themes dealt with either by sugar factory safety engineers or by external speakers  representatives of bodies specialising in risk management, university professors or researchers, doctors, prevention technicians from sickness insurance funds in France or other European countries, etc.). A prize is awarded to the sugar factory with the best results in terms of safety (overall frequency). o Since 2003, a second prize called the “Leonardo de Cristal” has been awarded for a transposable achievement. Every year, French sugar companies have a day-long national meeting on health and safety at the workplace. This meeting is devoted to the presentation of themes relating to health and safety (current legal topics or technical themes dealt with either by sugar factory safety engineers or by external speakers  representatives of bodies specialising in risk management, university professors or researchers, doctors, prevention technicians from sickness insurance funds in France or other European countries, etc.). A prize is awarded to the sugar factory with the best results in terms of safety (overall frequency). o Since 2003, a second prize called the “Leonardo de Cristal” has been awarded for a transposable achievement.
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Pfeifer & Langen, Germany
Reduction in the number of absences and in working hours lost due to illness and participation by managers and employees.
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Pfeifer & Langen, Germany
Reduction in the number of accidents and absences due to accidents, and training of executives and other employees.
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Eastern Sugar Rt, Hungary, 2003
Due to the harmonisation process of Hungarian legislation with the EU, there is a legal obligation for each company to complete a risk analysis of working conditions and work places.
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France – 2005, 2006 and 2007
In 2004, a regulatory text connected with risks in sugar silos was published by the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development, calling into question certain safety investments relating to a previous text dating from 1998. Some of these measures seem somewhat incompatible with texts concerning the same field but drawn from the Labour Code (transposition of the ATEX Directive on explosive atmospheres) or even inapplicable to the context of sugar (particularly due to the fact that sugar is not self-heating)
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Moravskoslezske cukrovary, a.s. in Czech Republic (AGRANA) – Beginning 2002
Health and safety – Free vaccination against meningitis, jaundice and flu. Moravskoslezske cukrovary, a.s. in Czech Republic suggests and implement free and voluntary vaccination against diseases potentially present and influencing working safety and attendance.
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Relationship between social partners

France, September 1995 and June 2000
Improvement of the social dialogue in the sugar sector.
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Italy  Italian Association of sugar Industries (Assozucchero), launched in 1990 the project is still running today.
Assozucchero believes that companies can manage their business in a better way if they have a good relationship with their employees and trade unions. Periodically, each company gives trade unions information related to labour force, investments, business projects, etc. Assozucchero itself is also involved in the social dialogue with the trade unions.
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European Union level, 2000
Consultation as official partners by the European Commission
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Nordzucker  Germany 2003
With the signing of a collective agreement, the existing Works Councils in the Nordzucker AG factories and in companies in which Nordzucker has a majority holding have formed a General Works Council representing them in a uniform manner.
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Eastern Sugar Rt, Hungary, 2003
Eastern Sugar Rt is convinced of the importance of the commitment of employees to the goals of the company. Therefore it gives them systematically information about the running of business.
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Fair pay

Nordzucker, Germany, 1999
After the creation of Nordzucker, there were different requests for specific payments and for company pension scheme among the employees from previous companies.
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Suiker Unie / CSM, Netherlands, until 2003
Both companies aimed at link between remuneration and economic profit.
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France, 2001
Review conducted on the occasion of a meeting with the social partners on the economic and social data concerning the sugar sector.
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Italy  All the companies from 1994 until now
Involving employees through relating part of their salaries to the companies results is a way to improve employees involvement
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Südzucker AG, Germany
The employees should benefit from the profits of the company.
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Südzucker AG, Germany
In order to reduce the difference in amounts between wage and pension, Südzucker has concluded a specific company pension scheme with the works council.
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Spain
Workers of the sugar industry benefit from a complement to their salary above the legal requirement.
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Spain
Workers of Sugar Industry benefit of salary complements over the legal requirements
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Eastern Sugar Rt, Hungary, 2003
Due to the modification of Labour Code, Eastern Sugar Rt implements the 4 shift system, which has as a result less working hours in campaign, so less earning. Eastern Sugar Rt is committed to be aware of maintaining the living standards of its employees, knowing that its role is mainly to run a profitable business.
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Working conditions

Germany, 2002
Social dialogue between the employers and the organisation NGG
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Südzucker AG, Germany
Older-aged employees should have the opportunity of a sliding transition to the retirement
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France, August 1998
New French legislation on working hours applicable to companies, in force since January 1st 2000.
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Spain, 2002
The social partners have negotiated a collective agreement which is more favourable than the national regulation.
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Moravskoslezsk cukrovary a.s.  Czech Republic – 2005
Moravskoslezsk cukrovary a.s. is convinced of the importance of motivation factors and a general feeling of satisfaction among its personnel (soft HR factors). It therefore conducts regular sociological surveys on a long-term basis.
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Restructuring

Ebro, Spain
Rationalisation of personal management.
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France, June 28th 2000
Reindustrialisation of industrial sites after closure  revitalisation of labour pools.
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Ebro, Spain
In the event of factory closures
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Danisco Sugar, Sweden and Denmark, from 1999 to 2000
Danisco’s commitment to CSR has been highlighted in the approach followed during its run-down and closure of two sugar factories. The decision to shut down the plants was taken as part of an investment programme designed to strengthen Danisco Sugar’s overall sugar production base in the Nordic region.
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Nordzucker  Germany 2003
After checking the structure of the production site, it was decided to close the Schleswig factory on the 31.12 2003. It then became a matter of applying the provisions of the collective agreement.
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Spain  2003
Reindustrialisation following the closure of 2 sugar factories. The closure of the factories of Azucarera Ebro based in Monzon de Campos and in Benavente lead to a loss of 200 direct jobs.
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Nordzucker  Germany 2003
After checking the structure of the production site, it was decided to close the Schleswig factory on the 31.12 2003. It then became a matter of applying the provisions of the collective agreement.
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France – 1998-2004
Closure of the Beauchamps sugar factory, Vermandoise Group, leading to the loss of around 100 jobs
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Povazsky cukor Slovakia 2002-2005
In accordance with the business policy of the majority shareholder Nordzucker AG, the restructuring process over the years 2002-2005 was completed on 1st July 2005 with the merger of the companies Povazsky cukor a.s., Word a.s., Zuriansky cukrovar a.s. and Trnavsky cukrovar a.s. into a single legal entity  Povazsky cukor a.s. The merged companies put a stop to their activities at the same time. The objective was to attain the investment objective of creating a modern sugar factory with a high production capacity at lower production costs.
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Agrana Zucker – Hohenau factory – Austria. 2006 to 2009.
Vocational training/retraining foundation created by Agrana (Arbeitsstiftung Agrana) The purpose of the foundation is to support, in different ways, former employees of the Agrana factory in Hohenau who have lost their jobs: skills, training, help in seeking out new employment prospects or a new job, assistance in setting up a business. Due to the need to cut costs within the context of the reform of the sugar regime, the Hohenau site was closed after the 2005 campaign. Apart from seasonal workers, 136 permanent employees were also affected. Under the social plan that was negotiated, management and personnel tried to find optimum solutions for the employees concerned. Some were able to continue working within the company, whilst others benefited from early retirement. The aim was to offer the remaining personnel the best training or retraining possibilities so as to optimise their chances of returning to the labour market.
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Italy – 2006/2007/2008 and following years
Restructuring Social dialogue to employee labour force after quota abandonment and closures. The restructuration process consequent to the OCM reform, in Italy, involved all the sugar companies and in the first wave (2006) 13 out of 19 firms were closed. After that, in 2008, two other firms will be closed (total 15 out of 19).
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Business relations and choice of suppliers

Danisco Sugar, Denmark, from 2003
One of Danisco Sugar’s key objectives is to ensure that sustainability is integrated into all relevant business processes, including the supply chain. While SHEQ, product safety and modern biotechnology issues have been important supplier criteria for some time, Danisco saw a need to establish procedures to evaluate and select suppliers based on their social performance as well.
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Mtra Cukor (Nordzucker Group) 2004
Enlargement of the Code of Conduct on suppliers 1st stage
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