Project Cultivar: Advancing Labor Rights in Agriculture
A Project Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor for Central America and the Dominican Republic
Goal: To build ethical market access for producers, through compliance with labor and environmental standards.
Summary: Project Cultivar enables a culture of compliance in a challenging sector for labor rights.
Consumers increasingly demand commitment to labor standards from both producers and retailers, while becoming increasingly aware of the grave challenges to workers rights in agriculture in Central America and the Dominican Republic. Thus, producers and exporters from the region encounter a market incentive added to their social responsibility to ensure human rights at work.
Agriculture accounts for 10–20% of GDP of Nicaragua, Honduras and Dominican Republic, but, facing competition from lower-cost production globally, ethical production presents a sustainability strategy for the region’s sector.
Workers in Dominican agriculture are largely denied access to social protections, in Nicaraguan agriculture severe health risks, and in Honduras stark barriers to social dialogue. Cultivar works to empower workers to exercise their rights, to increase employers commitment and tools to continually improve labor conditions, and to strengthen government’s capacity to fulfill its mandate to enforce labor laws.
Project Team: Overseen by SAI’s regional office in Managua, Nicaragua, this locally-grounded project leverages partnerships with four local NGOs in the three countries to build an enabling environment for labor rights in agriculture through three sustainable business strategies. Project partners are building their capacity through their participation in a mutual exchange of best practices, challenges and the experiences of their particular areas of work. Learn more about Project Cultivar's local partners.
Project Cultivar’s Three Principle Strategies
Strategy 1: Strengthen Local Leadership
SAI’s local partners in Cultivar have strengthened their leadership as proponents of labor law compliance. Highlights include:
Strategy 2: Build Capacity of Workers, Managers and Labor Inspectors
Strategy 3: Facilitate Social Dialogue