loader image
section IV
COMPANY PARTNERSHIP WITH EMPLOYEES,
CUSTOMERS AND THE COMMUNITY
103-2 e 103-3: Employment

A constant appreciation and encouragement of employee professional development is one of the fundamental principles of the Minerva Foods culture. The Company is confident that it would not have been possible to achieve the level of excellence that it has obtained as a global player in its sector if it had not relied, throughout its history, on the commitment, competence, and dedication of its entire team.

By the end of 2019, the Company had 17,448 employees and 1,021 outsourced service providers in Administrative, Commercial and Industrial/Operational areas, by means of direct employment or as a private entity.

Procedures that ensure safety and well-being in the work environment, training, and initiatives to improve the quality of life are applied to everyone in the company in accordance to a set of instruments based on the Code of Ethics – Company Guide to Conduct, labor legislation and in the Normas Regulamentadoras (NR) a set of regulatory standards.

The salary compensation plan takes into account the competitive balance both within the Company and relative to the market, creating conditions that allow for the recruitment, incorporation, and retention of qualified professionals. Employees receive a monthly fixed salary, with annual increases based on the rates established in collective bargaining agreements. Mercer’s compensation policies and methodology have been in place since 2018, and salary surveys are being conducted at various locations to support competitiveness and support compensation practices.

Employees receive various benefits such as monthly food benefits and meal compensation, transportation, among others established by law, in agreements and collective bargaining established with the trade unions within each category. In addition, there are restaurants on-site, which provide subsidized meals by Minerva Foods. They also have special agreements in the municipalities where they operate, obtaining discounts and deferred payments in health and dentistry plans, pharmacies, gas stations, butcher shops, and with dentists, just to name a few. 401-2

See Appendix GRI for employee profile, salary and benefits indicators
Employees are
encouraged
to grow
103-2 e 103-3: Training and education
Minerva Foods has invested in a series of programs and seminars for the training and professional development of its employees. At each business unit, the Company has a professional who is responsible for training management and provides its employees with training in several areas. In 2019, 1,336 training sessions were held, for a total of over 13,400 hours. The following are some of the key training activities for 2019:
Programa de Desenvolvimento de Lideranças (PDL) – This leadership development program provided onsite training and coaching sessions for 532 of Minerva’s leaders, addressing such topics as the coach leader, emotional intelligence, effective communication, among others.
Programa de Trainees – The initiative Our Work Feeds the World, which began in 2018 and involved 12 young people, was concluded for this period. The process included training, gaining experience in the different business areas through job rotation, mentoring, and an improvement project as the final stage of the program. The trainees were able to present their projects to the Company’s management, highlighting all the work they had developed and the knowledge acquired during the 18 months of the program, evidence of the success of the initiative. Eleven participants reached the end of the program and were hired by Minerva Foods in Brazil. This year, the first edition of the program was also implemented in Paraguay.
Employment opportunities for Venezuelans – Minerva Foods embraced the Federal Government’s strategy Operação Acolhida for the interiorization of Venezuelans at the Rolim de Moura (RO) plant, reaffirming its defense for diversity. In December, it launched an initiative aimed at contributing to the inclusion of these professionals into Brazilian society through fair and legitimate work opportunities. Twenty-six Venezuelans were contracted in the first round. They participated in the integration process, learning about all the health and safety procedures, policies of human resources and quality standards, among others, and received specific training for each function they would perform.
Our occupational health and
safety management is the
benchmark in the industry
2019 is considered to be a significant year for Minerva Foods in improving the health and safety management of its employees. The Company’s performance in Brazil has established a benchmark in the meatpacking industry. Having achieved a reduction of 54% in the frequency of accidents with lost workdays and a 77% reduction in severe accidents in relation to 2018.

The result was a rate of 0.66 in accident frequency per million man-hours worked, taking into account the industrial units in Brazil. In absolute numbers, the index represents 11 employees throughout the year with low severity and duly monitored, who were able to return quickly and in full capability to resume their duties.

During the period, the unit in Janaúba (MG) celebrated two years without any accidents resulting in lost workdays and the units in Araguaína (TO), Mirassol d’Oeste, and Palmeiras de Goiás (GO) celebrated one year without accidents resulting in lost workdays. Throughout the Company’s history, there has never been such positive annual results.

The advances in the area of occupational health and safety have occurred on several fronts in Brazil as well as in the industries controlled by Athena Foods. The initial investment in the segment was approximately R$ 60 million, which allowed the most critical risks to be addressed through engineering measures as well as a robust individual protection plan to avoid the most frequent accidents where it was not possible to mitigate the risk with the aforementioned measures.

The Company has remained focused on three important strategic management fronts: accident prevention, through the management of critical risks, learning from accidents, and safe behavior; legal compliance, through monitoring of requirements applicable to the business; and quality of life, with actions based on worker health and safety. On the first front, ammonia remained the focal point for monitoring and control. The refrigeration safety system has evolved with the installation of equipment for monitoring, control, and operation. The system for detection has undergone inspections, calibrations, and maintenance, in order to detect leaks quickly. In addition, machinery and equipment were fitted with guard and shielding technology, electrical installations were overhauled and updated, and pressure vessels and boilers underwent rigorous inspection. Working at elevated heights, safety devices were prioritized. The fire prevention and control systems were improved and updated.
103-2 e 103-3: Occupational health and safety
The discovery of the origin of accidents, 82% due to the behavior of the employees, led Minerva to understand the importance of raising the awareness of its professionals regarding the responsibility for their own safety. For this reason, in 2019, work began on the implementation of Programa de Alteração de Mindset em Saúde e Segurança Ocupacional, this change in mindset program regarding Occupational Health and Safety, has as its objective to generate a prevention culture throughout its team.

One of the main initiatives in this regard was a leader safety development program Desenvolvimento de Lideranças em Segurança, which provided the leadership team an in-depth immersion in the topic with team representatives from all units in Brazil and Uruguay. More than 335 leaders were trained on how to change their vision of safety and promote the new concepts among their teams.

The methodology used provoked reflections that encourage employees to think about how they must take care of themselves, not just in the work environment, but in their routine inside and outside the home. To protect themselves against the risks to their physical and psychological integrity and the important role that leaders play in the safety of other employees.

Some tools were used to strengthen safe work practices, such as the Safety Observation Program, a practice that consists of using behavior cards. As safety becomes a value, the employee is able to help their colleagues by showing what risks they are taking and what they need to do to correct their actions. At the same time, the program endeavors to value those who exhibit safe behavior at work, congratulating them and demonstrating the importance of their attitudes to their work, their colleagues and the Company.

Risk assessment is conducted under the Programa de Prevenção de Riscos Ambientais (PPRA), an environmental risk prevention program, in which a company specialized in occupational safety services performs risk and hazard assessments for all of the activities of Minerva and identifies the work environment, the characteristics of the teams and agents (risks and hazards) present in the work environments. Another survey is carried out through formal inspections for risks and hazards in the workplace along with statistical analysis of behavioral observations.

In addition, there is a specific accident prevention commission that is responsible for evaluating the risks of the work and proposing measures for mitigation. Any worker can immediately exercise the right to refuse exposure once the risk has been identified. 403-2

All the industrial units are equipped with outpatient doctors, nurses/technicians, ergonomic specialists, and speech therapists. Where there is no clinical structure available, third-party providers are hired for local support, providing 100% coverage of operations.

To further ensure the advancement of workers’ health, occupational physicians prepare and coordinate the Programa de Controle Médico de Saúde Ocupacional (PCMSO), an occupational health medical control program that is in line with the Environmental Risk Prevention Program (PPRA), which provides subsidies for the control and management of risks and their agents in the workplace.   In addition to the PCMSO, health and medical checks (active/passive) are conducted on workers, which provides data for an epidemiological analysis for each person, from which individual or, if necessary, entire area measures are developed. In addition to medical programs, professionals in the area promote health campaigns, vaccination campaigns, lectures, safety discussions, individual guidance, and other activities. 403-3

Other tools have been enhanced with a focus on changing the mindset. This is the case of the Daily Safety Dialogue (DDS), previously coordinated by the safety professional and now carried out by the trained leads. The leaders have also begun to perform systemic safety inspections and are responsible for notifying departments, such as maintenance, when necessary.

A new initiative was started, the Diálogo do Gerente in which at least once a month the manager engages in a small chat with the team in order to reinforce the view that safety is an issue that involves everyone and that it is not only the responsibility of one department. While the Health and Safety team works to promote improvements in operations and provide weekly technical guidance on topics such as personal protection or in regards to Coronavirus.

Three training modules are also applied in regard to occupational health and safety. First, regulatory and legal, such as the Normas Regulamentadoras do Ministério do Trabalho which are the regulatory standards issued by the ministry of labor, and the Instruções Técnicas do Corpo de Bombeiros which are technical instructions developed by the fire department. Second, personal/professional development, such as leadership training in safety and behavioral observations. Third, those that occur through other channels such as Safety Dialogues and Coach. 403-5

Work guided
by strict
standards
103-2 e 103-3: Occupational health and safety

Minerva Foods has adopted a rigorous management system of occupational health and safety standards, supported by regulatory norms and other legislation corresponding to the subject.

In 2019, in compliance with its Occupational Health and Safety, Environment, Food Safety and Social Responsibility Policy, the Company carried out a series of training and educational campaigns for employees to adopt behaviors and practices that ensure their safety.

All operating units in Brazil maintain a Comissão Interna de Prevenção de Acidentes (CIPA) which is an internal commission dedicated to accident prevention that is formed by elected employee representatives and professionals appointed by the Company. They meet on a regular basis and organize events such as Semana Interna de Prevenção de Acidentes do Trabalho (SIPAT), a week-long event the highlights accident prevention at work, held in connection with Jornada SGI, in which presentations, training, medical evaluations, recreational activities, and other activities are carried out. One training activity that stood out was a virtual reality game designed to reinforce the Golden Rules of safety. All employees are represented by formal health and safety committees, composed of workers who assist in monitoring and providing guidance on programs related to the matter.

In addition, a Safety Committee was established in 2019 to address issues that go beyond legal obligations. Meetings, which are held monthly, aim to analyze the results and reports of accidents that have occurred, identify areas that need improvement, detect opportunities for progress, and define action plans. This has brought more dynamics to the management and reinforcing awareness of the safety culture.

Changes regarding the activities of CIPA were also carried out, with an adjustment and expansion of the structure necessary for its members to fulfill their responsibilities. One of the tools adopted was the Auditing Plan of CIPA team members, in which they carry out monthly audits and inspections in various sectors and present their findings to the CIPA Committee, creating a dialogue in the process of resolving the problems.

The awareness and guidance campaigns were also instrumental in achieving the best annual results in the history of the Company in the area of health and safety. Throughout 2019, one campaign was promoted per month, addressing everything from diseases such as chikungunya to travel care tips for summer holidays. The highlight was the Flu Vaccination Campaign, which was provided free of charge to all employees.

For 2020, the priority in Occupational Health and Safety is to complete the expansion of its management model to the units of Athena Foods, thereby standardizing the processes and routines, in addition to spreading the change in mindset, establishing the same culture in the segment.

The Company stimulates
the economy of small
municipalities
103-2 e 103-3: Local communities
413-1

Minerva Foods is present in 36 different cities across South America, 15 of which have less than 100,000 inhabitants. This makes the socioeconomic impact of its operations very relevant to local activities as it maintains many jobs, provides income, career opportunities and development, benefiting 18,000 families within these cities.

The Company’s market presence management approach is evaluated through sector benchmarks, internal and external surveys, analysis of internal indicators, as well as government indicators and local IDH. All units are audited for Social Responsibility aspects under the SMETA methodology and the results are published on the Sedex platform. The units are also evaluated by client audits with rigorous social criteria.

With a presence in different countries, the Company seeks to learn about and respect the characteristics of each culture and the specific needs of the population. These measures are considered when assessing the impacts caused by its activities, especially on nearby communities, and to help develop initiatives that maximize positive factors and lead to local development, as well as mitigate potential negative impacts. The Company’s partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the implementation of its social and environmental performance standards is noteworthy in this regard. Minerva Foods is currently the only company in the industry to have received financing.

103-2 e 103-3: Market presence

Several initiatives are conducted in Brazil, including Projeto de Assistência as Comunidades Rurais (PASCOR) which is an assistance project for rural communities, in partnership with the Sindicato dos Produtores Rurais, a union formed by rural producers in Igarapé-Miri. The Federação da Agricultura e Pecuária do Pará (FAEPA), a federation of agriculture and livestock of the state of Pará, and the Secretaria Estadual de Desenvolvimento Agropecuário e de Pesca (SEDAP) which is a state secretary for agricultural and fishing development. The objective is to boost and bring together these institutions with the farming communities in order to increase the number of jobs and improve their income and quality of life. In 2019, vocational courses, health campaigns, and social orientation were made available to residents of the communities of Curuperé, Curuperé Miri, Curuperézinho, Itacuruçá, Pontilhão, Camotim and Murutinga.

In addition, the following actions are maintained to stimulate integration and local development:

Training Program for People with Disabilities, which includes training strategies aimed at developing professionals prepared to meet the demands of the job market. Since 2016, in partnership with the City of Barretos, the Company has unveiled two classrooms at the Solange Lana de Ávila Municipal Rehabilitation Center to provide free professional training courses for people with motor impairment. Beyond sponsoring the initiative, the Company anticipates that it will be able to receive a number of these trained professionals.

Company initiates the application of the Golden Rules

In 2019 Minerva Foods began applying the Golden Rules, a set of essential safety principles to ensure the physical integrity and well-being of its employees. The main purpose of the initiative is to promote an internal cultural and behavioral change that entails consequences management efforts.

The rules represent the limit that the Company deems acceptable in relation to an employee’s behavior. They were prepared by considering the critical risks of the activity. In line with the change in mindset initiative regarding safety, the vision behind the rules is that safety should be seen as a non-negotiable value of which without, it is not possible to work.

Agasalho Campaign held in 2019 at all of the Company’s units in Brazil. This warm clothing campaign resulted in the collection of more than a thousand pieces of clothing, shoes, coats, and blankets, donated to families living in neighboring communities.

Programa Jovem Aprendiz, is a young apprentice program which fosters the hiring and training of young people so that they may fill future technical positions. The selection process aims to integrate these youths into the sectors based on the profile and the technical course in pursuit.
Natal Luz, is a Christmas light campaign which in 2019, rallied employees to collect toys, clothes, food, and personal hygiene items that benefited 596 families.

In 2019, the Company created an Action Committee to reinforce its activities towards social responsibility. It is composed of several departments of the Company that meet monthly in order to discuss and evaluate the current situation and implement actions oriented towards socio-environmental issues, with the involvement of employees and communities from the different units. When developing an initiative, the Committee evaluates the context of each business unit and takes into account its unique features so that the action can be implemented in 100% of the locations.

The Company adopts initiatives that also bring together employees and communities. For the past five years, the SGI Journey has been held with the participation of the employees and their families and has been expanded to include members of the community. In 2019, under the theme Multiplying Responsible Actions, the emphasis was placed on internal practices that generated good results and were able to be shared among the units. The event was attended by 16,037 employees, who participated in training and awareness-raising activities on important themes relating to SGI and the Company’s governance, such as anti-bribery, anti-corruption and the prevention of conflicts of interest. The great highlight of the event was the involvement of the public and the activities that benefited the neighboring communities.

In Paraguay, for example, Athena Foods developed a social program in 2019 to help the community of Tablada Nueva, which had suffered the destruction of many homes and personal belongings due to flooding. The Company partnered with local authorities to donate food, blankets, and clothing, as well as provide medical and outpatient care to local citizens through the Athena Solidario project.

Additional community engagement activities were conducted in Paraguay, such as the Revive Campaign, which was promoted nationally by the Ministério do Meio Ambiente e Desenvolvimento Sustentável (MADES), the Escritório da Primeira Dama da Nação, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). This campaign engaged the public and private sectors along with the company’s employees and the general public in order to raise awareness and take action.  In the city of Belén, as part of the Revive campaign, an initiative was held at the local schools in which after having received training from MADES technicians regarding recycling, the Company’s employees were able to share their knowledge with the children. Fifteen schools participated in this activity which involved some 2,100 students in addition to their families and their communities.

Also in Paraguay, a clean-up campaign was promoted for the rivers in the cities of Asunción and Belén, with the participation of employees from Athena Foods’ industrial units and many other members of the local community. Further initiatives resulted in the benefit of the children from the neighboring communities of the business units, through the donation of toys and the promotion of a wide range of recreational activities.

In Argentina, under the program Padrinhos e Amigos (Godparents and Friends), Athena Foods sponsors the NGO Manos en acción (Hands in action), through which it provides training workshops for adults, school tutoring and various activities for children, in addition to providing meals for all children participating in the program. All these actions are based on the Pillars of the unit.

The Escuela de Enseñanza Media Para Adultos (EEMPA nº 1.207) is a school for adults that operates from within the Rosario unit, which promotes primary and secondary adult literacy.

Athena Foods Argentina is the first company to have a literacy project with an official title from the local Ministry of Education.

In Colombia, the operation provides assistance to the Fundação de Crianças Vulneráveis a foundation for vulnerable children, by donating toys (15,000 in 2019) and food products for distribution to nearby residents. The same support is provided in Uruguay to the Niños con Alas (Children with wings) Foundation, which works to improve the quality of education to underprivileged children and adolescents.