Human Rights Statement
Cal-Maine Foods’ respect for human rights is embedded in our enterprise. Our founder, Fred Adams Jr., established and developed a culture that values each individual’s contribution and encourages productivity and growth. We remain committed to enhance Mr. Adams’ vision, which includes the belief that access to nutritious and affordable food is a fundamental human right. Mr. Adams’ foundational values also inspire our mission to serve as the most reliable and sustainable provider of high-quality, fresh shell eggs and egg products in the United States.
All of our operations are located in the United States and the vast majority of our significant suppliers operate exclusively or primarily in the U.S. We are fortunate that the United States has among the best human rights laws, protections and enforcement mechanisms in the world. In addition, we endeavor to operate our business in ways that support people, including our colleagues, people in our value chain and those in communities in which we have influence, in enjoying fundamental human rights.
To further this commitment, Cal-Maine Foods supports the goal of human rights protections as outlined in this Statement. Our approach to human rights issues is informed by the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (Guiding Principles) and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, among other internationally recognized human rights instruments.
Statement on scope
While the primary responsibility to uphold and protect human rights lies with governments, we recognize the important role public and private enterprise has to support human rights. Our enterprise operations are domiciled entirely in the United States, a jurisdiction with legal human rights oversight and protections, and our policies require compliance with federal, state and local laws applicable to our business. Our enterprise remains committed to supporting human rights within our organization and across our value chain.
Our operational commitment extends to Cal-Maine Foods, Inc., the entities we own and in which we hold a majority interest and operations under our control. Our focus on lawful treatment extends to recruitment, employment applications, hiring, placement, job assignments, career development, training, remuneration, benefits, discharge and other matters tied to terms and conditions of employment. We also believe our responsibility to support federal, state, and local laws, including those aimed at human rights, extends beyond our enterprise and expect our suppliers to uphold these laws as well.
Cal-Maine Foods introduced our Human Rights Statement in fiscal year 2022. To develop our Statement, we considered the objectives of multiple stakeholders, including our colleagues, customers, communities in which we have influence and investors, among others. We intend to engage in dialogue that helps us listen to and incorporate their feedback as we further integrate our human rights support into our operations.
Statement on due diligence
Cal-Maine Foods believes that material human rights-tied risks should be identified and mitigated where possible throughout our value chain. We believe that due diligence could help us build more resilient operations and enhance our ability to drive positive impacts for our colleagues, customers and the communities in which we have influence. We also believe that a focus on diligence could help us avoid or remediate human rights-tied issues in those relationships in which we have reasonable choices or influence. As such, we intend to conduct a material risk assessment in the future and develop a program designed to identify and address any material risks to human rights identified in our value chain.
Statement on freedom of association
At Cal-Maine Foods, we promote a culture that respects and values our colleagues’ contributions. We encourage their feedback and believe that we are well-positioned to communicate with them directly. We value the contributions of positive change-influencers and encourage colleagues to communicate freely with their managers.
We respect freedom of association and the right not to associate. We believe in the free exchange of speech and information, provided there exists no harassment, intimidation, or business or operational disruption. We provide our colleagues with channels to escalate grievances, including those outlined in our employee handbooks, our Code of Ethics, and on employee bulletin boards, and provide anonymous reporting mechanisms, including an
Statement on diversity, equity and inclusion
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer that prohibits, by policy and practice, any violation of applicable federal, state, or local law regarding employment. Discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, national origin, citizenship status, veteran status, physical or mental disability, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law is prohibited. We value diversity in our workplaces or in work-related situations. We maintain strong protocols to help our colleagues perform their jobs free from harassment and discrimination. We are committed to offer our colleagues opportunities commensurate with our operational needs, their experiences, goals and contributions.
Statement on colleague peace of mind
At Cal-Maine Foods, we work to provide our colleagues the peace of mind that their workplaces and work-related situations are free of harassment, bullying, intimidation, supervisory retaliation and disruptive, threatening or violent behavior. We maintain safeguards and reporting mechanisms for suspected instances of unacceptable behavior and investigate and remediate where appropriate.
Statement on freely chosen employment
All of our employees are located in the United States, the laws of which prohibit child labor, forced labor, human bondage, bonded labor, indentured servitude and slave labor. We prohibit the hiring of persons who are under the age of 18 for positions in which hazardous work may be required. We may employ persons who are 16 or 17 years of age in select cases subject to our managers’ discretion, corporate safety guidelines and in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws and statutes. We expect our suppliers who may employ young workers to uphold the highest standards of commitment to their human rights.
Statement on healthy and safe workplaces
Our commitment to support human rights begins with our colleagues. We design our health and safety protocols with the goal of ensuring that our workplaces promote our colleagues’ health, well-being and personal development and to meet or exceed the robust federal, state, and local laws and statutes under which we operate. We believe this commitment helps us uphold human rights across our enterprise, value chain and in the communities in which we have influence. Our senior leaders, including our management team, review and evaluate our health and safety protocols and outcomes and remain committed to drive enhancements.
Statement on fair wages
Cal-Maine Foods is committed to provide fair wages to our colleagues that are commensurate with their contributions. We offer competitive remuneration and benefits that we believe meet or exceed agricultural industry practices in the areas in which we operate.
Statement on our products’ nutritional value
We remain committed to transparent labeling of our fresh eggs and egg products to help our consumers make nutritional choices for themselves and their families. We also provide information that helps our consumers understand how our fresh eggs are produced and how to store and handle our finished eggs safely.
Statement on human rights in our value chain
Cal-Maine Foods expects our suppliers and customers to support human rights. We engage with many of our suppliers and customers and value these opportunities to support human rights within our areas of influence. While we are not aware of any material risks to human rights in our value chain today, we continue to evolve our supply chain and customer relationships in alignment with our human rights commitment.
Statement on our colleagues’ human rights vigilance
Cal-Maine Foods is committed to offer workplaces in which our colleagues feel respected and valued. We expect and require our colleagues to be vigilant and report instances of suspected non-conformance with our human rights values. To help facilitate this vigilance, we provide colleagues with our reporting protocols and expectations. Any colleague who believes a conflict exists between our human rights commitment and workplace practices should indicate these concerns through our reporting mechanisms described above. We will investigate and respond to any report and engage in appropriate action, including remediation, if needed.
Statement on governance and reporting
Our human rights policies and practices are overseen by our Board of Directors and our senior officers. In addition to this Human Rights Statement, our Code of Conduct articulates how we promote our culture of integrity across the company and serves as a foundation of our approach to human rights. We plan to periodically provide additional detail on our human rights practices through our Sustainability Report and other corporate communications.
The Cal-Maine Foods Board of Directors approved this Human Rights Statement on July 20, 2021.