SYSCO CORPORATION | Independant Human Rights Impact Assessment Identifying and assessing the actual and potential human rights impacts on migrant works from Company's supply chain

Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Decent work
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Staples
Company HQ country
United States
Supporting materials
  • 24-06-06 Sysco Corporation Shareholder Proposal_FINAL.pdf Download
Resolved clause
Resolved, Shareholders request the Board of Directors of Sysco Corporation (“Sysco” or the “Company”) to publish a report, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, with the results of an independent Human Rights Impact Assessment (“Assessment”) identifying and assessing the actual and potential human rights impacts on migrant workers from the Company’s supply chain in the U.S. and Canada.
Supporting statement
In 2022, the U.S. issued almost 300,000 H1A visas for migrant workers performing agricultural services. In Canada, over 50,000 migrant workers enter the country each year as part of Canada’s agricultural worker programs. Despite the significant reliance on migrant workers in the U.S. and Canadian agricultural and agri-food sector, migrant workers face abuses such as wage theft, racial profiling, inadequate housing, exploitation and discrimination. In the U.S. and Canada, risks of modern slavery to migrant workers in the agricultural sector have been well-documented.
Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing, and distributing food products, including meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. Sysco recognizes that supply chain labour risks may create business and operational risks including labour shortages, work slowdowns, work interruptions, and strikes. Those risks, combined with the prevalence of migrant workers in the U.S. and Canadian agricultural and agri-food sector may exacerbate Sysco’s exposure and vulnerability to migrant workers’ abuses in its supply chain.
Since 2023, risks to migrant workers have faced heightened scrutiny due to investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). Investigations revealed significant abuses to migrant workers in the U.S., with migrant children at the centre of these violations. A 2023 DOL lawsuit and investigation uncovered migrant children working dangerous and illegal jobs at poultry plants owned by The Exclusive Poultry Inc., a Sysco supplier. Sysco’s internal investigation failed to identify any connection with this supplier, suggesting that the Company’s due diligence processes are inadequate. Additionally, a staffing agency that is under investigation for child labour was employed by a factory that was supplying products to Sysco. Sysco acknowledged that it “did not generally audit U.S. suppliers,” illustrating significant gaps with Sysco’s due diligence process. Other Sysco suppliers, including JBS, Tyson and Cargill were also among the companies that are under investigation for exploiting migrant children.
Despite the severity of the abuses, Sysco's current due diligence practices have proven to be insufficient to identify risks to migrant workers and children in the U.S. and Canada. Sysco's due diligence process such as its third-party social responsibility audits selectively apply in countries

flagged as high-risk by its risk assessment. However, it inevitably excludes countries in which abuses to migrant workers are well documented, including in the U.S. and Canada. By conducting the requested Assessment, Sysco will better understand its exposure to human rights risks, the impact of its business activities on the migrant workers employed in its U.S. and Canadian supply chain and the corrective actions needed to be implemented for the Company to live up to its human rights commitments.

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