ASC Farm Standard – Principle 3

 – in development – 

The forthcoming ASC Farm Standard will be split into three principles. Principle 1 covers legal compliance, Principle 2 covers environmental impacts and Principle 3 covers social impacts.

Contact person: Michiel Fransen

In developing the Criteria for Principle 3, several documents of the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Social Accountability International (SA8000) were used as references.

Notably, Principle 3 ensures ASC’s continuous and full alignment with the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work i.e. freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Principle 3 on social responsibility currently includes 14 harmonised criteria related to workers (upholding rights, decent and safe labour conditions, grievances) and the communities (including indigenous rights) that they operate in.

Principle 3 covers the following criteria/topics, each with its own set of indicator/requirements

  • Compliance with applicable labour regulations,
  • No engagement in – nor support of – forced, bonded, compulsory labour and human trafficking,
  • Protection of children and young workers,
  • No discrimination against employees
  • Provision of a safe and healthy work environment
  • Respect of the right to associate and the right for collective bargaining,
  • Workers are contracted in a transparent manner,
  • Employees are paid at or above the legal minimum wage,
  • Prevention of excessive working hours,
  • Disciplinary practices respecting the dignity and health of the worker are in place,
  • Provision of effective worker grievance mechanisms,
  • Provision of safe, decent and hygienic worker accommodation,
  • Contribution to maintaining or enhancing the social and economic well-being of local communities,
  • Respects of indigenous rights, cultures and traditional territories.

In addition, ASC is extending the accountability for social issues beyond the farm. This includes feed mills and potentially processors in response to stakeholders’ requests. With this broadening of the scope and restructuring, there is also the need to strengthen the assurance system around social auditing through the Certification and Accreditation Requirements (CAR). The CAR is a normative document.

What’s next?

Because the Legal and Social dimensions are closely intertwined, the proposed criteria and indicators for P1 and P3 were published together for public consultation in 2019, and will go for public consultation again in March/April 2022, after which the feedback received will be used to finalise them. P1 and P3 are scheduled for release in 2022.

More information


[Page last updated on 14.09.2021]

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