The CSR steering committee is made up of four management representatives, including our CEO. The steering committee guides the working groups, formulates objectives and is responsible for decision-making. The CSR steering committee meets at least four times a year and reports to the Executive Committee. Our CEO is ultimately responsible for sustainability.
The majority of policy themes are embedded in the day-to-day organisation. The management team also reports on these themes to both the Executive Committee and the CSR steering committee. A working group is then set up where there is insufficient substance and/or where acceleration is required.
In 2018, five working groups were created. These work groups comprise expert teams that make and amend action plans. The representatives from these working groups and the policy owners within the management team meet at least twice a year to share progress. Even though sustainable packaging is not a material subject, we think improvements in this area are important. That is why a working group has been set up to cover this topic.
We have an Integrity Counsel where employees, customers and growers can ask for help with any questions they have concerning integrity or report possible violations of integrity.
HZPC Holding B.V. has a two-tier board which incorporates an Executive Board and an independent Supervisory Board. The latter appoints the members to the Executive Board.
Code of Conduct
Our Code of Conduct contributes to a high ethical standard. Together with good judgement of employees, they contribute to mutual solidarity and pride.
Gerard Backx, CEO of HZPC, is the Chairperson of Breeders Trust N.V. (Breeders Trust is an organisation of eleven seed potato breeding companies from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Denmark)
Other external representations:
- Member of Euroseeds and Plantum
- Nederlandse Aardappel Organisatie (NAO) [The Dutch Organisation of Potato Merchants] and Europatat
- Carbohydrate Competence Centre
- Small farmers big deal
- Agrofood cluster
Preventing child labour
HZPC is active in seed potatoes across the world. We have trial fields, where new varieties are tested, in various climatic zones. These trial fields are also located in poverty-stricken areas, where child labour could be an issue. Products that we buy as an organisation, such as jute packing materials, may also be produced in areas where there is a risk of child labour.
Every child has a right to schooling and development. We reject child labour in every context. We apply a zero-tolerance policy and do not accept child labour within our organisation. We also expect this from our agents, growers, suppliers and other HZPC stakeholders.
Working group for prevention of child labour
The Working group for prevention of child labour focussed on the following in 2018-2019:
• Developing internal policy
• Child labour statement
• Developing employee training
• Updating contract clauses
Contracts with child labour clause
Any new contracts issued from 2020 onwards will include the child labour clause, as standard. Contracted parties with ongoing contracts in production, partnerships or supply relationships will be contacted in the first half of 2020 with regard to compliance with the conditions.
The e-learning module is used to train employees to be aware of the child labour issue and to recognise it when required. They also learn how to report child labour.
The contracts state that we may conduct audits at production locations and suppliers’ premises in risky areas. No audits have yet been carried out.