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Farm Workers' Safety

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and Eni, a global energy company, have unveiled an innovative initiative aimed at enhancing occupational safety and health (OSH) and healthcare accessibility for small-scale farmers involved in agro-industries. This collaborative effort targets the agribusiness sector in Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire, where Eni is developing projects for producing vegetable oil, steering clear of competing with the food value chain, to supply biorefineries.

The ILO plans to conduct an assessment to identify areas for improvement and suggest recommendations to bolster OSH measures along the agricultural value chain. Specifically, this involves evaluating the safety and health practices of castor farmers in Kenya and rubber farmers in Côte d’Ivoire.

Through this partnership, farm owners, workers, and their representatives will receive support in enhancing their OSH awareness and practices through training sessions and the implementation of risk prevention measures. Additionally, the ILO and Eni aim to expand social protection coverage for small-scale farmers by collaborating with unions, cooperatives, employers, and governments. Initially, the initiative is set to benefit 50,000 farmers in Kenya and 100,000 in Côte d’Ivoire, with the possibility of extending to other countries in the future.

Laura Thompson, the ILO’s Assistant Director-General for External and Corporate Relations, highlighted the significance of collaboration between governments, workers, trade unions, and the private sector in achieving a secure working environment and universal health coverage.

Joaquim Pintado Nunes, ILO’s Chief of the Labour Administration, Labour Inspection, and Occupational Safety and Health Branch, emphasized the potential impact of this partnership in promoting worker safety, health, and access to social health protection within the agri-business sectors.

Eni’s Luigi Ciarrocchi, the CCUS, Forestry, and Agri-Feedstock Director, expressed the company’s enthusiasm for these projects in Kenya and Côte d’Ivoire. He noted their positive influence on the entire value chain, supporting socio-economic and environmental sustainability.

Filippo Uberti, Secretary General of the Eni Foundation, stressed the importance of ensuring health and social protection across the agribusiness supply chain, emphasizing their commitment to upholding human rights and well-being.

This five-year initiative, launched at a signing ceremony at the International Labour Office in Geneva on November 24, aligns with the ILO’s flagship programs—Safety + Health for All and Social Protection Floors for All—aiming to enhance worker safety, health, and social protection systems globally.

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