Danper is a leading agribusiness, based in Peru, formed by a joint venture between Peruvian and Danish investors. The company currently exports to five continents and provides everything from organic fruits and vegetables to super grains and gourmet prepared foods. Danper’s mission is to provide natural and nutritious food produced under the highest standards of quality, efficiency and sustainability, while creating Shared Value. Danper achieved its first SA8000 certification in 2012 and celebrated recertification in 2021.
Social certification for social good
DANPER made the decision to seek SA8000 certification because they believe it is one of the most complete and rigorous standards on human and labor rights. At the time Danper first pursued SA8000 certification, Co-Founder & CEO, Rosario Bazán, was convinced that Danper should systematize good labor practices and conditions of decent work. Since Danper’s first certification, Bazán has been hands-on in executing the requirements of SA8000, along with Danper’s departments of the Integrated Management System and Human Capital Management.
Besides the security and credibility that enables Danper to maintain and attract talent, they believe SA8000 reinforces their reputation and trustworthiness as a socially responsible actor that provides safe jobs. Applying SA8000 has helped Danper demonstrate socially responsible actions and achieve results that are consistent with their organizational strategy to improve the lives of workers. The vast majority of Danper’s sales are exports (97%) and it is extremely valuable to their clients abroad to know that Danper has made the commitment to ensure decent work. Danper workers also appreciate certification because Social Performance Team representatives, which include worker representatives, are always at their disposal to help manage improvements and solve problems that may arise at work.
“SA8000 is the standard of social responsibility for excellence in the protection of human and labor rights of workers,” says Roger Carruitero, Central Manager of Human Capital and Administration at Danper. “We have excellent results with the work of the SA8000 Social Performance Team in which workers actively participate in the management of the system through audits, review by management, monitoring activities and matrix of social risks associated with the operation.”
Integrating sustainable livelihoods into business
Why does Danper ensure adequate investment in its corporate responsibility and sustainability practices? Simply put, they believe adopting the standard is good for their workers and the company.
Its Integrated Management System (SIG) incorporates policies and procedures that meet international standards for product quality and safety, social responsibility and environmental care. The company’s management systems approach contributes to ensuring compliance with sustainability requirements in the economic, social and environmental spheres.
To do so, the company has built its operations on a set of three key aspects: education, health and gender equality. Notably, the company has also executed these values within their employment and labor practices. For example, in 2020, Danper had 12,600 workers, 50% women and 50% men, who tend to come from populations that have been excluded from social public services, marginalized and have had low socioeconomic mobility.
In support of its workers, Danper has integrated health centers into its operations, which assists the workers and their families, and provides them physical and mental health services such as psychology, nutrition, pediatric and obstetric services (for workers’ children and pregnant women), among others. The health team that operates these centers was key in the company’s strategy against COVID 19. Additionally, Danper and the Peruvian Ministry of Education have partnered to establish the Basic Alternative Educational Center (CEBA in Spanish), targeted to workers who have not finished their school studies. Finally, under Equality, Danper developed the “Victoria” program (Victory), where the company leads training initiatives within workers’ communities, enabling women and men to become agents of change in their communities.
Centering sustainability and workers through the challenges
Since its founding, Danper has focused on becoming a company that emphasizes empowering women, fair and equitable treatment, building the quality of its people and raising the quality of life of its workers to gain recognition for both the quality of its products and its integrity. The workers who power the agribusiness company undergo very intensive and strenuous work, but also have opportunities for employment in a country that has a high poverty rate, now accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of its central business practices is creating Shared Value. “For Danper, the creation of Shared Value means to generate efficiency and economic growth and, at the same time, social progress for its workers, their families and their communities,” says Rosario Bazán, Co-Founder & CEO.
“We believe that one of the greatest challenges for Danper is precisely to maintain and improve our SA8000 system. Our responsibility is to ensure that the job we give is not only the job through which they can develop themselves and their families, but is also a source of dignity and pride,” Bazan points out.