Bioparques de Occidente, S.A. de C.V. (Bioparques or "the Company") is a greenhouse tomato producer located in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. Bioparques benefits from Mexico's favorable climate, low labor costs and proximity to the US market. As of 2015, the Company operated a total of 317 hectares including 171 hectares of semi-hydroponic (method of growing plants without soil, bark, or moss) greenhouses and 146 hectares of tomato plantations under mesh house technology, divided across four sites (Bioparques I, II, III, IV). Bioparques I is the first and main site that includes the administrative, packaging and logistics (transport) areas for the operation.Tomato harvesting at Bioparques lasts approximately 10 months a year, from late August through end of June. In peak season, Bioparques employs approximately 3,500 workers, mostly migrants who reside at one of three housing complexes owned by Bioparques. Of these, Bioparques I has 13 modules, consisting of 363 homes, with a total capacity for 1,815 persons; Bioparques II housing complex has 9 modules, 264 homes, and a total capacity for 1,320 persons; while Bioparques IV currently has 5 modules, 140 homes, and a total capacity of 700 persons.This new investment involves an A loan of $10 million for the expansion of (i) Bioparques tomato plantations using technology of French origin on 50 hectares (ha) inside Bioparques IV; (ii) expansion of worker accommodation (2 modules), increasing the total housing capacity at Bioparques IV to 980 workers. The project was approximately 60-70% complete at the time of appraisal.The project is expected to (i) increase Bioparques productivity, efficiency, and competitiveness in the local and international markets; (ii) promote the application of sector-specific good international industry practice (GIIP) and robust environmental and social standards; (iii) generate 350 jobs during construction and up to 800 during operations, and (iv) promote economic opportunity among local retailers and suppliers servicing the growing operation.Together with Agricola La Primavera, Zeppelin and Kaliroy, the other three group companies, the group is one of the largest tomato producers in Mexico and exporter to the US, with annual sales of US$109 million, 80% of which are exports to the US. The new investment will allow Bioparques to continue achieving its growth projections in a sustainable and competitive manner.
OVERVIEW OF IFC'S SCOPE OF REVIEW
This is IFC's third investment with Bioparques. The first and second investments consisted of $12 million in 2007 (26328) and $5 million in 2011 (29734) respectively for the acquisition of and build of new greenhouses and irrigation equipment, other infrastructure and working capital. The client's performance was rated as satisfactory during the first six years of engagement. The rating acknowledged that many of the ESAP conditions from the existing loan remained open, though were in process of being closed.In June 2013, a worker incident occurred at Bioparques. Bioparques was accused by a group of nearly 300 workers of being held in forced labor conditions. The investigation uncovered that a broker (representing Bioparques) had recruited these workers to the company, had them living in company owned housing, but never paid them the wages they had worked, at the rate they had negotiated. Bioparques management was unaware that this had occurred and was ultimately found guilty by the courts and fined for use of negligent practices. The worker incident led to the arrests of two Bioparques staff. The project received negative media coverage around the event that led to Bioparques losing some strategic commercial partners and also brought IFC into scrutiny for its involvement with the Company.The incident highlighted important gaps in Bioparques labor practices and an urgent need for a review and improvement of its human resources (HR) management system (HRMS), which at the time, was not in alignment with IFC's PS 2 requirements.The company recognizes that the growth and success of its business is correlated with proper management of its workforce, the majority of which is migratory due to the remote location of the operation. After nearly three years of improving its labor procedures and practices with the help of an externally commissioned international labor expert, Bioparques has a significantly improved (integrated) human resources management system compared to what it had previously before the incident. Bioparques will continue to work with the labor experts developing all outstanding elements of an integrated HRMS, and refining its implementation to ensure it captures all risks that need to be managed. Additionally, Bioparques is voluntarily seeking certification against Social Accountability International's (SAI) SA 8000 labor standard in early 2017. Certification includes occupational health and safety (OHS) practices, which the client is also in process of improving. Certification against the standard will assess and check the company's good practice in these areas overtime, as will IFC in its routine and periodic supervision visits. Details on the status of improvements on both labor and OHS matters are discussed in detail under PS 2 Labor and Working Conditions. Commentary on PS1 and PS 3 provide details on the clients' performance on environmental management issues, and the ESAP highlights actions to be implemented across the board in order to fully align with IFC's PS requirements. Additional details around Bioparques practices in labor and working conditions are provided in the commentary under sections on PS1 and PS2. Commentary on PS1 and PS 3 provide details on the clients' performance on environmental management issues, and the ESAP highlights actions to be implemented in order to fully align with IFC's PS requirements.The scope of the new appraisal included: (i) a desktop review of Bioparques environmental and social management system (ESMS), (ii) on-site visits to the location of the proposed project, the housing complexes (worker accommodation) as well as to each of the four existing production and operation sites, packaging and logistical facilities; and finally (iii) interviews and discussions with key operational, environmental, social, health and safety personnel, both at the corporate and site levels.
IDENTIFIED APPLICABLE PERFORMANCE STANDARDS**
While all Performance Standards are applicable to this investment, IFC's environmental and social due diligence indicates that the investment will have impacts which must be managed in a manner consistent with the following Performance Standards.PS 1 - Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and ImpactsPS 2 - Labor and working conditionsPS 3 - Resource Efficiency and Pollution PreventionPS 4 - Community Health, Safety and SecurityIf IFC's investment proceeds, IFC will periodically review the the project's ongoing compliance with the Performance Standards
In 2012 Bioparques acquired approximately 360 hectares of land from an agricultural company working in the region. The land has historically been used for agriculture and does not have any inhabitants, thus it is vacant, free of any encumbrances. The area is characterized by converted land composed primarily of small shrubs and bushes and free of biodiversity of high or critical value. Given this, the project neither requires the application of PS 5 on Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement nor PS6 on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources. Additionally, there are neither indigenous peoples nor areas of cultural or historical significance in the area, exempting applicability of PS 7 on Indigenous Peoples and PS 8 on Cultural Heritage.
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL CATEGORIZATION AND RATIONALE
As highlighted under Overview of IFC's Scope of Review, Bioparques continues to work with the labor experts on improving its management of labor issues, in accordance to IFC's PS 2 requirements. IFC notes a marked improvement in Bioparques practices in this area, compared to before. The company also continues to progress with its review of OHS practices to closer align with PS2 and SA 8000 requirements. IFC will continue to closely monitor performance and progress in this area by carrying out periodic supervision visits to the project, and through the annual monitoring review and reporting process.The third loan will shift IFC's focus from strengthening the client's management of social and labor issues to improving its EHS standards and management system (EHSMS), which IFC identified as requiring improvement in order to close the gaps that remain open.This is a category B project according to IFC's Sustainability Policy because of the limited number of specific environmental and social impacts that may result from the project's construction and operations, all of which can be mitigated, managed or controlled with the application of sector specific good international industry practice (GIIP) and corrective measures and practices identified in the applicable Performance Standards and the World Bank (WB) General Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Guidelines.The key potential environmental and social risks and impacts associated with the construction of the new facilities include: - following proper identification of environmental and social risks and impacts; - proactive onsite management and application of appropriate mitigation measures; - contractor management; - recruitment of local workers; - occupational health and safety of workers during construction and operations; proper drainage, erosion and sedimentation control of land during construction and operations; - waste and effluent management during construction and operations; - quality control and use of pesticides and fertilizers during operations; and community health, safety and security during construction works.
**Information on IFC's Policy and Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability can be found at www.ifc.org/sustainability
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL MITIGATION MEASURES
IFC's appraisal considered the environmental and social management planning process and documentation for the project and gaps, if any, between these and IFC's requirements. Where necessary, corrective measures, intended to close these gaps within a reasonable period of time, are summarized in the paragraphs that follow and (if applicable) in an agreed Environmental and Social Action Plan (ESAP). Through the implementation of these measures, the project is expected to be designed and operated in accordance with Performance Standards objectives.
PS 1: ASSESSMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL RISKS AND IMPACTS
Environmental and Social Assessment and Management System - IFC has been working with Bioparques on the development of their ESMS since its first investment in 2008. The process has accompanied the Company's growth and expansion over the years. Today, Bioparques has an ESMS that covers environmental, social, labor, occupational health and safety, quality, food safety and pest management issues, in varying stages of maturity.Policy - Bioparques has an extensive list of operational policies and procedures covering environmental and social issues, which are subject to continuous review and improvement. Ongoing improvement is subject to compliance with the environmental and social action plan (ESAP) conditions highlighted for this third loan.Identification of Risks and Impacts - Bioparques has an internal process for identifying environmental, social, health and safety (ESHS) risks and impacts related to the operations. Social and labor risks and impacts are identified and tracked by the social and HR teams respectively. The teams have a remit to work on issues that pertain to their individual areas, as well as social welfare matters where there is a joint responsibility between the two departments.Operationally, all ESHS risks are reviewed and discussed weekly at Committee Meetings. Meetings appear to have good coverage of issues discussed and are recorded in minutes that include forthcoming objectives/actions and timeframes for completion. Progress on the completion of actions is discussed at each meeting. Department heads are responsible for ensuring that risks are appropriately mitigated in a timely and coordinated manner. Risks are considered eliminated when appropriate corrective actions have been implemented consistently across all areas needing improvement.Management Programs - Labor and social matters at Bioparques are managed under the framework of the integrated Human Resources Management System, through a number of policies, procedures and initiatives. Please refer to the section on 'PS2 Labor and Working Conditions' for more specific information.Bioparques have management programs, plans and procedures covering environmental, health and safety matters. Environmental and OHS plans and procedures meet host country regulations and protect workers' health.OHS plans include: (i) identification of OHS risks and impacts in all areas/facilities/activities of Bioparques; (ii) medical surveillance programs; (iii) personal protective equipment (PPE) program; (iv) OHS training program; (v) an emergency preparedness and response plan, including routine scheduled drills; and (vi) monitoring of work conditions (temperature, dust and noise levels) among other things.In view of obtaining certification against the SA 8000 standard in 2017 (also covers OHS), in 2015 Bioparques carried out internal audits to evaluate the adequacy of its OHS plans and procedures (management system) and identify opportunities for improvement and full compliance with host country regulations and IFC requirements in this area.In early 2016, Bioparques contracted an OHS Manager to manage these improvements. Additional evaluations of existing practices resulted in a work plan covering: (i) the revision and improvement of OHS plans and procedures (management system), (ii) a training program to strengthen workers' capacity in this area, and (iii) additional measures to ensure full compliance with host country regulations and IFC requirements. The objective of the OHS work plan is the implementation of an OHS management system aligned with the requirements of the SA 8000 standard and OHSAS 18001. IFC has reviewed the proposed draft OHS work plan and implementation timeline and will supervise this as part of the new investment. The new OHS management system will be implemented by early 2017. (ESAP 1)Bioparques' main environmental management plans include: (i) inventory of hazardous substances; (ii) handling and storage of hazardous substances; (iii) handling and use of pesticides; (iv) wastewater treatment and disposal; (v) solid waste management; (vi) management of tomato plant waste (composting); (vi) environmental emergency plan for hazardous substance spills; (vii) groundwater quality monitoring among other things.During appraisal, IFC noted there is opportunity for improving the existing environmental procedures in alignment with IFC PS requirements in areas such as efficient use of natural resources (especially water), and monitoring plans including water consumption, groundwater levels, treated wastewater quality, recycling water from irrigation, energy efficiency.As part of this new IFC investment, Bioparques will conduct an evaluation of existing environmental procedures/plans in comparison to IFC requirements and revise environmental plans and procedures to achieve compliance with IFC requirements. (ESAP Condition 2) This will result in a work plan to complete and refine the environmental management programs of the environmental management system in full alignment with PS 1 and ISO 14001. This action plan will be used by IFC to supervise and monitor improved environmental performance overtime. The Plan for the improvement and completion of the EMS will be vetted by management and include an implementation timeline and budget. (ESAP Condition 3)Organizational Capacity and Competency - The company's production site in Jalisco is headed by a General Manager, and two Divisional Managers with dedicated support functions and responsibilities in (1) operations and administration and (2) quality and social responsibility respectively. The administrative arm of the business is responsible for all general administration and account services, treasury, human resources (including social programs), purchasing / procurement of goods and services, and maintenance activities. The quality and social responsibility arm oversees quality at the production sites and packaging facilities, occupational health and safety, and environmental management. Each area has a dedicated and specialized team overseeing different aspects of the work.A systems integration coordinator reviews practices across all functions of the operation to ensure that international standards are being applied consistently across the board. Together, these functions oversee the integration of environmental, social, health and safety and quality requirements and practices into every aspect of the operation.As mentioned previously, Bioparques recently contracted an OHS Manager to supervise OHS matters across the operations, aligned with OHSAS 18001 requirements. On Environmental matters, while Bioparques has a dedicated environmental team, IFC PS1 requirements state "Personnel within the client's organization with direct responsibility for the project's environmental and social performance will have the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to perform their work, including current knowledge of the host country's regulatory requirements and the applicable requirements of Performance Standards 1 through 8. Personnel will also possess the knowledge, skills, and experience to implement the specific measures and actions required under the ESMS and the methods required to perform the actions in a competent and efficient manner." Based on this requirement, IFC notes that the personnel responsible for environmental performance require additional training and guidance on matters relating to environmental aspects such as integrated water management, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions, pollution prevention, environmental monitoring programs, and risk identification and resource efficiency. To achieve this, Bioparques will augment the competency and capacity of its environmental team through training programs and seek assistance and guidance from an external expert in environmental management systems. This exercise will be carried out in a similar manner as the support provided by the social/labor expert to improve Bioparques respective performance and management systems in this area. The external expert will be experienced in the application of good international industry practice and familiar with the relevant IFC PS requirements. (ESAP Condition 4)Emergency Preparedness and Response - Potential emergencies within the Bioparques facilities may include occupational accidents, fire, fuel spills, small chemical spills, and traffic accidents, among others. The company has trained emergency response brigades, who receive annual training and conduct regularly scheduled drills. There are nurses at the local medical clinics that are located at the three housing complexes and a physician who rotates between the three clinics. An ambulance is also available to assist in the event of a medical emergency. Trained emergency responders are available at each site, and these supervise the areas on all-terrain vehicles that are equipped with first-aid kits. There are fire protection systems at each of the main facilities and fire extinguishers are also maintained on a routine basis at each of the areas, including the worker and family housing complexes.Monitoring and Review - As it improves its management systems on social and labor matters, Bioparques has formally begun reporting on a key set of performance indicators both on employment related matters as well as at the housing complexes. This practice began a couple of years ago and has slowly began rendering positive results. Bioparques will continue to refine this practice as it continues to improve the implementation of the vast range of new policies and procedures under the integrated Human Resources Management System developed for the business.As mentioned previously, the company has internal committees led by the company's General Manager that meet on a weekly basis to discuss key, emerging or outstanding issues and risks that need to be addressed across each of the functions of the business. The company conducts environmental and OHS monitoring programs that cover (i) OHS accidents, (ii) training, (iii) vehicular accidents, (iv) drills, (v) groundwater level monitoring, (vi) wastewater quality monitoring, (vii) solid and liquid waste management, (viii) meteorological data monitoring, among other things. Data on OHS statistics such as the number of accidents and lost days, are compiled and reviewed by upper management. The number of accidents and lost days increased from 2013 to 2014. The result of the OHS data review has led Bioparques to develop new OHS targets that aim at reducing the total number of OHS incidents with lost time.However, the results of environmental monitoring programs (e.g., groundwater level and quality, wastewater quality, noise, etc.) are not compiled, analyzed or reviewed by the senior management. Moving forward, Bioparques will (i) compile, process and review the results of all EHS monitoring programs for a better understanding of the company's overall EHS performance, (ii) continue to ensure compliance with host country regulations and IFC requirements, (iii) identify and correct deficiencies, and (iv) establish long-term EHS targets in the process.Monitoring plans that will need to be improved/developed include, but are not limited to, wastewater quality, integrated water management plan, recycled water from irrigation. The gap analysis and action plan will include an approved implementation timeline and budget by management. The action plan will be used by IFC to supervise completion of any remaining gaps and deficiencies in the current monitoring and reporting element of the management system. (ESAP Condition 5)
PS 2: LABOR AND WORKING CONDITIONS
The expansion of Bioparques IV production and housing facilities will generate 300 new jobs during the construction phase and 800 jobs during the operations phase. Capacity at Bioparques IV will increase to 980 persons / 196 rooms, amounting to a total capacity of 4,207 persons who can reside at Bioparques I, II, and IV housing complexes.Human Resources Policies and Procedures - As a result of the worker incident that occurred June 2013, IFC required Bioparques to engage an international labor consultant to review the company's human resources policies and procedures, and address any failures or gaps between it and IFC's PS 2 on Labor and Working Conditions in an integrated HRMS, commensurate with the size and complexity of its workforce. The collaboration between the consultant and Bioparques has involved (i) implementation of a time-bound work plan, (ii) weekly meetings to assess progress against the measures identified in the work plan, (iii) training on PS2 and other GIIP in labor practices, (iv) monthly site visits, (v) periodic practice audits to assess adequate implementation of the new procedures and practices; and (vi) other consultation as needed. As part of this loan, Bioparques will continue to work with the international labor experts on finalizing the development of all elements of the HRMS and refining its implementation in alignment with PS 2 requirements. (ESAP Condition 6)Per IFC PS2, the client is required to share with its workers documented information from the HRMS as it becomes available. The information must be clear and understandable, and cover details regarding workers' rights under local labor laws and any applicable collective agreements. How this has been achieved is described in more detail below under the section on Working Conditions and Terms of Employment.Bioparques is planning on obtaining certification against the SA 8000 labor standard in 2017. Similar to PS 2, the SA 8000 standard is based on the eight conventions of the International Labor Organizations (ILO's) Declaration of Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. These aim to eliminate or address risks and issues around child labor, forced labor, discrimination, free association and collective bargaining, standards on occupational health and safety, working hours, wages, and discipline. The standard goes above and beyond local labor requirements and is based on a management systems approach that encourages managers to make sustainable systemic changes in how they run their business, based on the identification and mitigation of risks and impacts and demonstrable good practice and performance overtime.Working Conditions and Terms of Employment - The HRMS has an operational policy and procedure covering the recruitment and hiring of personnel. The policy applies to all workers alike, whether migrant or non-migrant, and covers in detail the recruitment, hiring and induction process; workers' rights, wages, compensation, and benefits (e.g., housing, medical, schooling, and others); general terms and conditions of employment per national labor laws and international conventions and instruments. The code of ethics highlights the principles of non-discrimination and equal opportunity, freedom of association (the right to collective bargaining), and the prohibition of any form of child or forced labor. All workers are given copies of the company's policies, code of ethics, terms and conditions of employment and benefits. Bioparques has also posted its policies and codes of conduct on notice boards in all facilities and included them in the induction training provided to new workers. Social workers and staff are mandated to demonstrate application of good practices, reinforce the messages to workers on a routine basis, supervise worker compliance with these practices, correct undesired behaviors that may be observed and emphasize desired behaviors with examples. This approach is part of the culture change that Bioparques is working to implement across the institution, including the work carried out by suppliers.Approximately 55% of the workforce is migrant, from areas outside of the region. Bioparques has a practice of advertising its vacancies in newspapers or radio; and has a team of recruiters who work locally recruiting work force from key geographic regions where labor demands are most abundant, and where candidates appear to show the most interest in the opportunities. All workers are informed of the exact nature of the work they are being recruited for and are also provided with information on the key contributions and benefits provided by Bioparques as part of their engagement. This includes free housing, utilities, health services, transport and education for their children, among other things. Workers are given contracts of a minimum of six months, though most are interested in continuing work with Bioparques on a long term basis. Today, Bioparques has a very high retention rate, with most workers opting to stay with the company year round.Upon entering or arriving to Bioparques (if recruited from outside the local area), workers are screened by the HR Department who once again verify if the applicants qualify for the position and that these have in their possession all the legal documents required for employment. The verification is done twice, once locally at the place of recruitment by the recruiter and again by the HR team upon arrival to Bioparques, This allows Bioparques to be sure that there are no inconsistencies in the process.When employment is formally confirmed, workers are directed to the Social team for further instructions. If they are not confirmed, they are returned back to where they live, at no cost to the applicant. All workers are provided with training and the necessary personal protective equipment to carry out their job functions in a safe manner. This is discussed in more detail under the section on occupational health and safety.If workers are migrant, they are directed to one of Bioparques housing complexes where social workers provide them (and their families) with housing and all information and directions needed to settle in, including access to health care and schooling options for their children. All (3) of Bioparques housing complexes have early year's childcare, two have schools for elementary aged children (K - 6) and facilities that support sports and other leisure activities. Secondary level students are provided return transportation to one of the local schools with capacity for students.Other improvements that Bioparques has made in recent years following the worker incident of 2013 relates to the controls, codes of conduct and processes it has adopted and is implementing in respect to its social programs. All social programs (e.g., housing, transport, medical care, schooling, etc.) are managed by a team of social workers, under and in close coordination with the Human Resources Team. Each housing complex has its dedicated social workers, responsible for (i) liaising with and managing all persons residing in the housing complex (es) (ii) ensuring residents' comply with corporate rules and codes of conduct; (iii) developing linkages and programs with government schemes that benefit their (and their families) welfare and wellbeing; (iv) coordinating and supervising all activities that take place at the schools, day care centers, store, and other facilities owned and operated by Bioparques, including transportation needs, maintenance and cleaning of facilities and public areas, safety and security arrangements within the complex(es).Social programs are funded by Bioparques, with assistance and subsidies received from government schemes targeting the welfare of rural agricultural workers and their families. Partnerships with the government include: (i) health screening and education, (ii) early childcare and schooling (K - 12); (iii) food and nutrition, and (iv) literacy, vocational skills training and continuing education programs for adults. Bioparques is one of the highest performers in respect to the number of workers that receive training and certification from the federal scheme (Instituto Nacional de Educacion para Jovenes y Adultos) that promotes adult vocational and technical training to its workers. In terms of health, Bioparques was invited by Sector Salud of the Ministry of Health in Mexico, to certify its worker accommodations as "healthy places to live". Certification takes 1 - 2 years to obtain. Lastly, it's worth mentioning that for several years now, Bioparques have obtained recognition for being a workplace free from child labor.Induction training is provided to all workers on their first day at work. Training involves an in depth introduction into Bioparques: (i) the operations, organizational structure and key staffs, the mission, vision, corporate policies, procedures, codes of ethic and conduct that apply; (ii) the recruitment and hiring process as well as details on the terms and conditions of employment; (iii) occupational health and safety matters; (iv) quality and food safety controls and requirements; (v) environmental and sustainability principles and requirements; (vi) grievance mechanism procedure; and (vii) emergency response procedures.Workers Organizations - By law, all workers are enrolled into a collective bargaining agreement with one of the two unions representing Bioparques' workforce. Bioparques meets monthly with the unions and collective bargaining agreements are reviewed annually.Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity - The HR policy and procedures clearly establishes that all employment decisions will be based on the principles of equal opportunity and fair treatment and punitive actions will be sought if contravened. This includes any form or act of discrimination or harassment during any part of the recruitment, hiring or employment process and relationship with a worker. This policy covers all workers, including migrant workers, which are provided additional protection against these acts due to the vulnerability of their position.Grievance Mechanism - As part of the review of the HRMS, Bioparques revised and is now implementing a Grievance Mechanism procedure that applies to all workers and community members, in alignment with IFC PS 2 requirements. Bioparques is located in a highly remote, rural area. External stakeholders that are interested in contacting Bioparques may call the company directly or leave a complaint or question at one of the mailboxes found at the entrance into each facility. Workers are informed about the grievance mechanism during induction training and those that reside in one of Bioparques housing complexes have access to the mechanism by either directly speaking to one of the social workers or by leaving a complaint, concern or comment in the booths located inside the complex. Grievances can be anonymous, and all are recorded in an electronic database that tracks how they should be addressed, until its resolution. HR carry out an analysis of grievances each month to identify and understand where and if there are any recurring issues that need to be mitigated in a more strategic manner. Grievances received are for the most part around requiring maintenance in the shared facilities of the housing unit and asking for things that they would like to be able to do as leisure or continuing education at the housing complexes. Most grievances or issues are reported directly to the supervisors or social liaisons who have constant and close engagement with the workers and residents respectively, on a day to day basis. Grievances that are more critical, involving mistreatment (yelling) from a manager or similar situations, are escalated and dealt with directly by the HR Manager. The procedure specifies the exact turnaround time and methodology for processing and resolving claims in alignment with the requirements of PS2.Protecting the Workforce - Bioparques has policies that forbid the hiring of children under the age of 18, as per national law. Improvements made to Bioparques management practices, principally the prohibition of using external parties (brokers) to manage any part of the recruitment process, largely eliminated the risk of another incident of forced labor from occurring again inside the company's operations or any part of its supply chain. Since then, all recruitment and hiring is done directly by Bioparques HR team and all contracts with suppliers require the same measures, aligned with IFC's PS 2 on Labor and Working Conditions.Occupational Health and Safety -Bioparques conducted OHS audits in late 2015, to assess the company's overall OHS performance. The results of the audits identified the need to develop and implement a traffic plan, an accident investigation procedure, improve training of subcontractors, develop a fall protection plan, develop a work permit procedure, among other matters. As part of this loan, Bioparques will close all gaps identified in the audits undertaken by the labor consultant and the newly appointed OHS Manager in 2015 and 2016 respectively, in relation to OHS conditions and practices, by implementing the appropriate corrective measures in a timely manner. (ESAP Condition 7)Existing OHS procedures include identification of job-related risks and protective measures, and training programs to ensure workers are capable of performing their duties. The Company also has programs for protective personal equipment; medical surveillance; monitoring of working conditions (illumination, temperature, noise level), and others. In early 2016, the Company contracted an OHS manager to improve existing OHS plans and procedures, as well as to create new plans needed to improve the overall company's performance and to implement an OHS management system aligned with OHSAS 18001 requirements. Bioparques has submitted to IFC a preliminary work plan to improve existing procedures and to develop new procedures in order to be fully compliant with host country regulations and IFC requirements, as wells as to implement am OHS management system aligned with OHSAS 18001 requirements. The company has also established targets to reduce OHS accidents through improved procedures and workforce training. As described in ESAP Condition 1, Bioparques will implement the OHS work plan under close supervision by IFC.Workers Engaged by Third Parties and Supply Chain - Bioparques has implemented a policy and procedure for the selection, approval, and administration of third party contractors and suppliers. Specific elements of the procedure include: - a screening and selection process for all suppliers; - transparent and traceable contracting and buying procedures; - requirement for suppliers to comply with Bioparques environmental, social, health and safety conditions; - routine training and audits carried out on all suppliers. Bioparques sources the majority of their products and services from the local area, making them an important contributor to the growth and stability of the local economy. The policy and procedure is considered aligned with IFC PS2 requirements.
PS 3: RESOURCE EFFICIENCY AND POLLUTION PREVENTION
Resource Efficiency - Water is the main natural resource used at Bioparques sites. The use of soil is reduced through the semi-hydroponic practices within greenhouses. Energy is provided by the national grid and the use of emergency generators is very sporadic and typically used only a few hours a year. In order to minimize impacts Bioparques will conduct evaluations of its current water and energy efficiency, develop water and energy efficiency programs, and establish long-term targets. (ESAP Condition 8)Water Consumption - Bioparques obtains water from three sources: groundwater wells, el Nogal Dam and from a local river. The availability of these three water sources provides for a more sustainable management of water resources, as different sources may be tapped to accommodate seasonal variations in surface water availability. These water sources are permitted by host country water authorities. Main water uses include fertigation at the greenhouses, produce rinsing at the packing house, and potable water consumption at the housing complexes. As part of this new IFC investment, Bioparques will develop and implement a comprehensive water management program, with detailed information on water consumption by the various operational activities, identification of areas where water use can be optimized and development of a water efficiency program that takes into consideration recycled/reclaimed water (ESAP Condition 9). Bioparques will continue to monitor groundwater levels and compile monitoring data for a better understanding of potential impacts to groundwater resources. Monitoring will consider intake from all 3 water sources, water consumption, per type of use (e.g., fertigation, produce rinsing, potable water consumption at the workers' accommodations, etc.) at each site, quantify of reclaimed water use, and monitoring of groundwater levels.Greenhouse Gases - The main sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are from electrical energy from the grid, diesel/gasoline consumption by heavy equipment, trucks and vehicles, as well as by emergency generators. In accordance with Mexican requirements, Bioparques quantifies and reports total annual GHG emissions to the environmental agency. In 2015, Bioparques' GHG emissions were 6,723 tons of CO2eq.Pollution Prevention - Overall conditions at Bioparques sites indicate the company has developed and implemented pollution prevention measures that protect the environment and workers' health. Good practices include secondary containment around storage tanks for chemical substances, storm water drainage around areas that store hazardous wastes and chemical substances, and proper disposal of solid waste.Wastes - Main wastewater streams at Bioparques's sites result from fertigation at the greenhouses, produce rinsing at the packing house and sewer from the workers' accommodations and administration offices. The company has constructed three sewer wastewater treatments to treat sanitary streams, butexisting monitoring plans for treated effluent quality was deemed deficient. Moving forward, Bioparques will develop a detailed monitoring program to demonstrate the efficiency of the sewer treatment plants as well as the quality of the treated wastewater streams. Results of treated wastewater will be compared to the WBG General EHS Guidelines (Table 1.3.1 Indicative Values for Treated Sanitary Sewer Discharges) to demonstrate compliance with IFC requirements. Bioparques will also submit the specifications for each wastewater treatment plant (as built, with the actual specification/capacity of each plant) and will install flow meters to measure actual in and out flows at each plant. (ESAP Condition 10)The company has initiated a program to treat and reuse fertigation streams from the greenhouses. This is aligned with good water efficiency initiatives, but a detailed monitoring program is pending. Moving forward, Bioparques will develop a monitoring program for the recycling of fertigation runoff at the avocado plantations as this is not done for tomatoes. The monitoring program aims at ensuring that the quality of the recycled stream is adequate for the intended use and does not adversely impact the areas where the runoff is applied. (ESAP Condition 11)Bioparques has developed a comprehensive solid waste management program that has been implemented at all sites. Solid wastes are segregated and stored according to their characteristics and there is an emphasis on recycling and minimization of wastes. Hazardous and non-hazardous solid wastes are stored at appropriate storage areas and disposed at authorized waste management facilities. Manifests are maintained and volumes of wastes are reported to authorities. Organic waste, such as remains of plants are processed into compost. There is no burning of crops at the site. Used oil is sent to recycling facilities.Greenhouse Gases - IFC has identified the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in Bioparques' operations. In alignment with good international practices, Bioparques has agreed to phase out ODS from its refrigeration systems at the company's sites. (ESAP Condition 12)Hazardous Materials Management - The company has developed an inventory of hazardous materials, which are stored at appropriate locations. Diesel and gasoline tanks are located at fueling stations that are approved by PEMEX and there are oil/water separators to treat surface drainage from around the fueling areas. Other hazardous materials, such as pesticides are stored in areas designated for such materials and access is limited to authorized personnel who have been trained to handle and apply pesticides with the use of appropriate PPE.Pesticide Use and Management - The primary aim of pest management should not be to eradicate all organisms, but to manage "pests," including insect pests, diseases, and weeds that may negatively affect annual crops so that they remain at levels beneath an economically damaging threshold. Pests should be managed through a process of integrated pest management (IPM) that combines chemical and non-chemical approaches to minimize pest impact, while also minimizing the impact of such measures on the environment. Over the past few years, Bioparques has formulated and implemented an integrated pest management (IPM) approach targeting economically significant pest infestations. Bioparques IPM focuses on controlling nematodes, the main plague affecting tomatoes and use paecilomyces lilacius, a fungus that parasitizes nematode eggs, to diminish nematode proliferation. The company also uses insects, such as ladybugs, to as a form of biological control. Bioparques' IPM also uses traps in all of their green houses to monitor the presence of pests. The tomatoes are 100% grown inside greenhouses, which serve as a physical barrier and minimizes the presence of weeds near the tomatoes. Through the IPM, the company has made efforts to reduce the use of pesticides. Pesticides are selected, handled, stored, applied, and disposed of in accordance with good industry practices. The company has a dedicated agricultural engineer who has worked with external experts to develop the IPM aligned with good international practices Through the medical surveillance program, workers who handle pesticides will continue to undergo periodic examination to ensure protection of workers' health and safety The current IPM is progressing well and is expected to continue to evolve and its effectiveness will be evaluated and reported to IFC on an annual basis.
PS 4: COMMUNITY HEALTH, SAFETY AND SECURITY
Bioparques facilities are located in a highly remote, rural area of Jalisco. There are no communities immediately adjacent to Bioparques sites. The closest communities are San Miguel, La Croix, Totolomispa, Apulco, Tuxcacuesco, but these are located a few km away from the tomato farms.Infrastructure and Equipment Design and Safety - Bioparques operations consist of agricultural facilities that are fenced and not accessible to the public. The infrastructure and equipment are designed for annual crops (greenhouses, packing house, and distribution centers). The workers' accommodations, which also house families of workers, are in close proximity to the tomato farms, but agricultural activities and hazardous materials stored and handled within the tomato farms do not pose risks to those living in the workers' accommodations. At Bioparques I, IFC observed a great number of trucks, buses and light vehicles, especially during the times that personnel arrive and leave the site. To minimize adverse impacts on the main road (Carretera Estatal el Grullo-Cuidad Guzman) as vehicles were seen backing up onto this road, and to minimize the risks of vehicular accidents in general, Bioparques will conduct an evaluation of traffic at Bioparques I. Based on the results of the traffic evaluation, Bioparques will prepare corrective actions to improve traffic conditions at Bioparques I, as needed. (ESAP Condition 13)Community Exposure to Disease - The majority of Bioparques workforce is migrant, from areas outside of the region, that is, outside of the State of Jalisco. While the risk for potential communicable diseases does exist, routine medical care and supervision focus on early prevention and identification of all communicable diseases. Bioparques provides free onsite clinical screening and health care at each of the housing complexes and routinely promotes vaccination and other health campaigns. As reported by the onsite physician, the common cold is the most prevalent disease reported at the sites.Emergency Preparedness and Response - The nature of Bioparques' operations (tomato production in greenhouses, packing and distribution) pose low risks to the communities. Potential emergency situations could include traffic accidents, fuel spills or fire. Bioparques has trained personnel to respond in the event of environmental and OHS accidents and to coordinate with local authorities (e.g., fire department, civil defense or the police) in the event of a major emergency such as a traffic accident or fire. Some workers who live in the workers' accommodations are part of the emergency brigade and can respond in the event of an emergency. Overall, the emergency preparedness and response at Bioparques is adequate to the nature and size of its operations.Security Personnel - Bioparques has a Security Manager responsible for safeguarding all of Bioparques personnel and property. The security team is comprised of 20 security guards, all subcontracted out to a specialized security company. All workers receive background checks prior to appointment and receive training from Bioparques Security Manager on the company's security practices and arrangements. Security guards can be found: (i) stationed at the entry ways of each site, (ii) patrolling the internal and external perimeters of the sites and facilities, and/or (iii) supervising security and safety practices of all workers, visitors and suppliers entering the premises. The security team manage an emergency response plan and are trained as first responders in order to adequately attend to emergencies that occur within and outside its facilities. Coordination and follow up between the teams is done via radio on private lines, which allows for immediate communication and response.Bioparques owns an airstrip used solely for transporting its staff in and out of its facilities. Per federal law, airstrips in remote areas of the country are manned and patrolled by Mexican Air Force security personnel. The airstrip is located on the fringes of Bioparques I, adjacent to the state road and is closed from external access. Bioparques provides the Air Force with living quarters and land to use to carry out their functions, at no cost.The Air Force is responsible for securing and patrolling the air strip 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Air Force personnel receive military professional training and are mandated to operate entirely independent from Bioparques, under their own corporate governance codes and rules. All 10 Air Force personnel are uniformed, armed, trained in human rights approaches, and governed by organic law and codes of conduct that prohibit their involvement or interference in any activity carried out by the company or civil society, outside of their patrol post. The only instance where these forces can be called upon for civil matters is in the event of a natural emergency, and even then, their remit is to serve and support the community and general public as a whole.Bioparques will provide IFC with a security management plan aligned to PS 4 requirements (paragraphs 12-14) that includes a security risk assessment, demonstrates implementation of the recommendations from the security risk assessment, and considers the need for an MOU with the air forces stationed on the air strip. (ESAP Condition 14)
ESTANDARES SOCIALES Y AMBIENTALES APLICABLES
PS 1 Evaluacion y gestion de los riesgos e impactos ambientales y sociales
IFC trabaja con Bioparques en sus conductas sociales y ambientales desde el ao 2008 cuando la compaia recibio el primer investimento del banco. Como parte de ese trabajo, la empresa desarrollo un sistema de asesoria y administracion ambiental y social, que incluye temas de ambiente, social, trabajo, salud y seguranza ocupacional, seguridad de alimentos, etc. IFC reporta que la empresa posee varias politicas, procedimientos y equipos internos que hacen reuniones semanales - que tratan de esos temas. IFC reporta que los planos y procedimientos de Bioparques sobre salud y seguranza ocupacional protegen la salud de los trabajadores y que el banco ira inspeccionar la implementacion del sistema de manejo en esa area a partir del 2017.
IFC ira monitorear la mejora de los planes de manejo de la empresa con relacion al uso de recursos naturales, especialmente el agua.
IFC nota que los responsables de la empresa por el area ambiental necesitan entrenamiento adicional, lo que debera ser cumplido por un experto externo a ser contratado por Bioparques.
Los resultados del monitoreo de programas ambientales no son analizados y revisados por la gerencia de la empresa, lo que debera ser corregido.
PS 2 - Trabajo y condiciones laborales
La expansion de Bioparques generara 300 nuevos empleos durante la construccion y 800 durante la operacion. La capacidad de la empresa sera de un total de 4207 personas entre Bioparques I, II, III y IV.
Con relacion al incidente de 2013, IFC requirio que la empresa contratara un consultor laboral para rever las politicas y procedimientos de la empresa en el area laboral. Como parte del presente prestamo, Bioparques seguira utilizando expertos laborales y refinando la implementacion de una politica que este de acuerdo con el presente estandar. De acuerdo con ese estandar, la empresa tendra que informar los trabajadores sobre su sistema de recursos humanos, los derechos laborales que tienen los trabajadores segun la legislacion local y cualquier acuerdo colectivo aplicable. La empresa planea en certificarse traves el estandar SA 8000 de la Organizacion Internacional del Trabajo en 2017. Ese estandar esta basado en convenciones internacionales que visan eliminar el trabajo infantil, trabajo forzoso y discriminacion, garantir la libre asociacion y estandares de salud y seguranza, las horas trabajadas, sueldos, etc. IFC reporta que Bioparques esta implementando una politica que representa una mudanza cultural de la empresa, que incluye sus suministradores, por la cual sigue un codigo de etica que garantiza el derecho de sus trabajadores sin discriminacion. Se reporta que los trabajadores son informados del codigo de etica y de sus derechos de diferentes maneras y en diferentes oportunidades.
Se reporta que los trabajadores son instruidos, entre otros cosas, sobre los mecanismos de quejas que pueden utilizar y sobre los procedimientos de respuesta a emergencias. Trabajadores tienen acceso al mecanismo de queja traves los asistentes sociales de sus sectores o pueden dejar sus quejas en urnas localizadas en el complexo. Las quejas pueden ser anonimas, son grabadas en un sistema electronico y analizadas todos los meses.
Se reporta que como todos los contractos de trabajo son hechos por la empresa, se ha eliminado el riesgo de trabajo forzoso. Suministradores tambien deben cumplir con las exigencias de la empresa, que conduce entrenamientos y auditorias.
El presente prestamo exige que Bioparques corrija sus practicas en relacion a salud y seguridad de sus trabajadores, de acuerdo con lo identificado por una auditoria de consultor externo.
PS 3 - Eficiencia del uso de los recursos y prevencion de la contaminacion
Para minimizar sus impactos, Bioparques ira hacer evaluaciones de su eficiencia de uso del agua y energia, desarrollar programas de eficiencia de uso de energia y agua, y establecer objectivos a largo plazo.
Bioparques ha acordado en eliminar gradualmente la utilizacion de sustancias que agotan la capa de ozono.
Se reporta que los materiales potencialmente peligrosos son almacenados en locales apropiados por la empresa. Tambien se reportas que pesticidas son utilizados con moderacion y de acuerdo con estandares internacionales.
PS 4 Salud y seguridad de la comunidad
No hay comunidades cerca de las instalaciones de Bioparques, que se encuentra en un area rural remota. Las comunidades mas proximas son San Miguel, La Croix, Totolomispa, Apulco, Tuxcacuesco todas a algunos quilometros de distancia de las haciendas de tomates.
Para evitar accidentes de transito en la carretera Estatal el Grullo-Ciudad, Bioparques evaluara en trafico y tomara medidas para mejor sus condiciones.
El riesgo de enfermedades transmisibles sera controlado por atendimiento medico de rutina y trabajos de prevencion.
La empresa posee un equipo de seguridad de 20 guardas contratados para la seguranza del personal y de la propiedad de la empresa. La fuerza aerea nacional, de acuerdo con ley nacional, esta presente en las instalaciones de la empresa para la seguranza de la pista de aterrizaje da la empresa. Los 10 soldados de la fuerza aerea no pueden involucrarse o interferir en actividades de la empresa o de la sociedad civil fuero de su area de monitoreo. Solo pueden ser utilizados en actividades civiles en el caso de una emergencia natural.
NUESTRA EVALUACIAN DE RIESGOS
Basado en el documento de IFC e informaciones disponibles en los medios, ese proyecto presenta un riesgo para los siguientes derechos humanos:
Derechos laborales: Los medios reportan que Bioparques ha recibido multas millonarias por sus violaciones a los derechos de trabajadores. La empresa fue multada por no pagar vacaciones, por omitir el pago de prima vacacional, por falta de pago de horas extras, por falta de pago de aguinaldo, por no inscribir trabajadores en el Instituto del Fondo Nacional de la Vivienda para los Trabajadores, por no inscribir trabajadores en el IMSS y por falta de pago de reparto de utilidades. Segun los medios, la empresa tambien fue multada por hacer sus trabajadores trabajaren sin proteccion o prestaciones laborales.
Derecho a la salud: Los medios reportan que los trabajadores vivian en casuchas improvisadas sin ningun servicio sanitario trabajando jornadas de largas horas sin descansar.
Derechos de los pueblos indigenas: Los medios afirman que la mayoria de trabajadores detectados en situacion de esclavitud en el 2013 eran indigenas. Tambien segun los medios, Bioparques sigue contratando una cantidad grande de mano de obra indigena.
Derecho de grupos marginalizados y discriminados: Segun los medios, de los 270 jornaleros que se encontraban en situacion similar a esclavitud en el 2013, 39 eran menores de edad (24 con grados de desnutricion) y 45 eran mujeres.