Ethical Charter for Responsible Labor Practices

Tanimura & Antle, including all of its affiliates and subsidiaries (collectively, Tanimura & Antle or the Company), believes that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to respecting workers’ rights and protecting their safety and health, while recognizing the cultural and legal differences found throughout the industry and the world. As an industry, we care about the wellness, respect and safety of the workers who help us offer the wide variety of fresh fruit and vegetables consumers enjoy.

The guiding values and principles set out in this Ethical Charter provide a framework for coordinated, focused action across the industry. When growers, labor agencies, packers, distributors, foodservice operators, marketers and retailers of fresh produce and flowers work together to assure ethical working standards, everyone in the supply chain benefits, and consumer confidence in our products is enhanced. Responsible labor practices are the right thing to do and our success as an industry depends on it.

Our Values with Respect to Responsible Labor Practices

  • We believe that work in the fresh produce industry should provide economic opportunity for all involved. Employers, employees, their families and our communities should benefit financially as a result.
  • We respect, value and encourage mutually beneficial efforts, and a positive relationship between the employer and the employee, and intend to support efforts that strengthen that relationship.
  • We operate in a spirit of cooperation, learning and transparency with our workers, trading partners and other stakeholders.
  • We support transparency in our supply chains about labor conditions, policies and practices, as permitted by law, with the aim of improving the work environment and giving workers opportunities for success.
  • We seek to inspire continual learning and progress across the produce supply chain, through education and an exchange of ideas and best practices in implementation of these principles.
  • We believe in accountability throughout the supply chain and among all stakeholders to deliver our shared vision of responsible labor practices.
    These values can only flourish because of our day-to-day behavior and actions, with each of us working within our individual area of responsibility and strengths.

Our Guiding Principles

Respect for Laws at Work

Legal Compliance
Tanimura & Antle shall adhere to the laws and regulations as established by the applicable jurisdiction in which we operate.

Occupational Safety & Health
Employees shall be provided a safe, hygienic and sanitary environment at work-related sites, in any transportation and in any housing provided by Tanimura & Antle.

Tanimura & Antle shall adopt reasonable measures to identify hazards and control occupational risk of injury and illness. Examples of such safeguards may include, but are not limited to, the following: industrial hygiene and sanitation programs; injury and illness prevention; emergency preparedness and response; chemical safety; equipment and machine safety; ergonomics; ventilation and lighting.

Tanimura & Antle employees shall always have free access to drinking water and sanitary facilities.

Wages & Benefits
Employees shall be paid for all work performed. Tanimura & Antle shall comply with all applicable legal requirements regarding eligibility to work, benefits and wages (including wages for overtime premiums and/or minimum compensation for any payment arrangement based on productivity).

Tanimura & Antle shall provide leaves and benefits as required by law. Payments shall be made in accordance with the applicable contractual terms (and within all legal limits) and the calculation of the promised payments shall be transparent to employees.

Working Hours
Tanimura & Antle shall manage working hours in accordance with applicable laws, recognizing that agricultural labor needs vary by season, crop, task and location, and employees are sometimes needed for shorter or longer time-periods than a standard workweek.

Tanimura & Antle shall provide rest periods as needed to support a safe and healthful workplace and as required by law.

Tanimura & Antle shall inform workers about their expectations regarding hours of work and gain their agreement at time of hiring.

Respect for Professional Conduct

Communication and Worker Protections
Direct communication between management and their employees is the most effective way of resolving workplace issues and concerns. All employees have both the right and responsibility to voice their concerns or ask questions, report in good faith any improper or wrongful activity, or discuss opportunities and/or grievances. To do so, there is a fair, transparent and accessible channel of communication to provide input to management and to resolve workplace issues.

At Tanimura & Antle, this is done through our Open Door Policy:

Tanimura & Antle opens its doors to any employee who may have a complaint, suggestion or question about his or her job, working conditions or the treatment he or she is receiving. Employees are free to turn to their immediate foreperson, supervisor, division manager, Vice President, Office of Human Resources, or the Company President/Chief Executive Officer about any concern. Our experience has shown us that often the best person to resolve a complaint or answer an employment question is the employee’s immediate foreperson/supervisor. Therefore, the Company urges employees to take the following steps wherever possible:

  1. As soon as possible, or within a week of an occurrence, bring any matter of concern to the attention of your immediate foreperson/supervisor who will attempt to answer your question or provide satisfactory resolution.
  2. If your concern persists or if your immediate foreperson/supervisor is the basis of your problem, make the manager or Vice President aware of it. The manager or Vice President will attempt to work out a reasonable solution.
  3. If your concern is not addressed to your satisfaction by the manager or Vice President, or if your manager or Vice President is the basis of your complaint, bring the problem to the Office of Human Resources, or the Company President/Chief Executive Officer. All pertinent facts from the employee and any other relevant party will be reviewed in an attempt to reach a final decision or response based on the information presented.

The Company takes employee concerns seriously and hopes that employees will feel free to raise issues of concern, in good faith, without the fear that adverse action will be taken against them. Employees are encouraged to raise personal concerns before and after their scheduled work hours or during rest or meal periods, unless the concern requires immediate attention.

Tanimura & Antle encourages timely disclosure of concerns and prohibits retaliation against anyone who, in good faith, reports concerns.

Ethical Recruitment 
Tanimura & Antle recruits employees ethically. Abusive, deceptive, fraudulent or corrupt practices are unacceptable at any stage of the recruitment and selection process. No employee should pay for a job. Tanimura & Antle shall bear the costs of recruitment and placement.

Tanimura & Antle does not require (and never has) that a pregnancy test be taken as a condition or precondition of employment.

If third-party labor contractors are utilized, appropriate due diligence shall be performed to ensure their commitment to uphold the Ethical Charter.

Management Systems and Continuous Improvement
Tanimura & Antle commits to integrating sound management systems (such as policies, processes, education and training, documentation, communication and feedback channels) that sustain and demonstrate compliance with applicable labor, employment, occupational health and safety laws governing the employer.

Tanimura & Antle looks to these systems to continuously improve performance against compliance objectives.

Responsible Purchasing Practices
Tanimura & Antle wants its employees to understand that companies purchasing commercial quantities of produce understand and seek to mitigate the impact of their planning and purchasing practices on the commitments in this Ethical Charter.

Respect for Human Rights

Employment is Freely Chosen

Tanimura & Antle does not tolerate modern day slavery – – such as forced or compulsory labor, debt bondage, involuntary prison labor or the trafficking of persons.

Tanimura & Antle commits to a work environment where employment is freely chosen and not performed under threat, coercion, force or menace of penalty.

Employment at Tanimura & Antle is “At-will” which means that each employee, like the company, is free to end the employment relationship at any time, with or without prior notice or reason. There is no fixed period of employment, except for H-2A employees. Employees with H-2A contracts for a fixed term of employment should know that they remain at liberty to end the employment relationship at any time. Tanimura & Antle shall only end the H-2A employment relationship as provided in the H-2A contract.

Freedom of Association

Tanimura & Antle follows applicable law regarding freedom of association and collective bargaining and workers’ equal right to refrain from such activity.

While some employees in the agricultural industry have union-represented employees, the employees at Tanimura & Antle have chosen to deal directly with the Company. We at Tanimura & Antle believe that our Company will operate best by continuing to be a company where the employees talk directly to management without a third party intervening. While we respect the rights of employees to make their own decisions about union organizing, we believe that our current practice of talking to each other directly is the best policy and an important part of our strength as a Company.

Humane Treatment and Non-Harassment
Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Tanimura & Antle employees should not be subject to physical, sexual, psychological, or verbal harassment or abuse, coercion, or the threat of such conduct.

Tanimura & Antle addresses the need to prevent sexual harassment and other forms of illegal harassment (e.g., religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, pregnancy status) with education, communication and disciplinary procedures that demonstrate that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Equal employment opportunities are respected, including respect for all individuals. Tanimura & Antle acknowledges that employees deserve a workplace free from unlawful discrimination in any form, where employment decisions are based on the requirements of the job.

Additional Freedoms and Protective Measures

Tanimura & Antle employees have free and complete access to their own passports, identity documents and residency papers. Tanimura & Antle does not collect or maintain the original, personal and private records pertaining to the employee.

Tanimura & Antle employees have the freedom to return to their home country during annual or personal leaves granted by management without ever paying a deposit or being subjected to threats of termination.

Tanimura & Antle employees have free physical movement in and out of the housing facilities offered by the Company. Access to other parts of Company property or offices may be restricted for health, safety or intellectual property reasons, as communicated by postings

For protection, Tanimura & Antle has hired security guards and installed cameras around its property. There are signs of camera surveillance visible in the locations where cameras are located, such as at the entrances of the property, or in an around our cooler facilities.

Protection of Children and Young Workers
Respecting and supporting children’s well-being requires employers to actively safeguard children’s interests, preventing harm at the workplace. Young people who can legally work also desire and deserve economic opportunities, but need age-appropriate work and appropriate supervision.

Tanimura & Antle commits to prevent children and/or young workers from performing work that is mentally, psychologically, physically or socially dangerous or harmful, or that hinders compulsory education.

Tanimura & Antle has a practice of verifying the age of every employee prior to hiring.
Tanimura & Antle does not hire anyone below the legal age of employment or younger than 15 where no minimum employment age exists. Generally, employment is made available for those 18 years of age or older, unless a work permit legally authorizes otherwise.

Non-employed children are prohibited to access production, harvest or other work areas except in cases of supervised tours or community programs.

If an underage worker is identified, he or she shall be removed from the workplace immediately and kept safe until handed over to his or her parent, legal guardian or applicable government official. Exception: A minors unauthorized to work (but who has worked for Tanimura & Antle) of driving age with a driver’s license and with a vehicle on site shall be asked to leave the work site after collecting whatever wages may be due.

Responsible Enforcement & Distribution of Tanimura & Antle’s Ethical Charter

Tanimura & Antle relies on its management team to carry out the responsible labor practices it has adopted in this Ethical Charter. The Ethical Charter shall be shared in new hire materials, recall packets when amendments are made and in on-going employee training sessions. The Department of Human Resources is ultimately responsible for the distribution, training, oversight and enforcement of the Ethical Charter, in collaboration with the various operations within the Company. Any questions or concerns can be directed to 1.800.772.4543 (ext. 3663) for follow-up.