Resources

The key project outputs will be academic publications to be published over the lifetime of the project. In addition, this section highlights other relevant scholarly articles, reports of non-government organisations, Swiss government reports, as well as policy and regulatory measures that impact the operations of this sector.

1. Corporate Social Responsibility, Contentious Politics and Social Movements

This literature focuses on how various actors such as stakeholders, advocacy organizations or social movements confront corporations to create public awareness about their misdeeds or to pressure them into changing their policies and practices.

Arikan, O., Reinecke, J., Spence, C. & Morrell, K. (2017). Signposts or Weathervanes? The Curious Case of Corporate Social Responsibility and Conflict Minerals. Journal of Business Ethics, 146, 469–484.

Balsiger, P. (2018). Explaining Dynamic Strategies for Defending Company Legitimacy: The Changing Outcomes of Anti-Sweatshop Campaigns in France and Switzerland. Business & Society, 57(4) 676–705.

de Bakker, F.G.A., den Hond, F., King, B. & Weber, K. (2013). Social Movements, Civil Society and Corporations: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead. Organization Studies, 34, 573-593

Dorobantu, S. Henisz, W.J. & Nartey, L. (2017). Not All Sparks Light a Fire: Stakeholder and Shareholder Reactions to Critical Events in Contested Markets. Administrative Science Quarterly, 62, 561–597.

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Public Eye

Over the years, Public Eye (formerly Berne Declaration), has consistently focused on the commodities sector. We include here a few of their reports.

Commodities: Switzerland's most dangerous business, 2012. This book is one of the organisation’s earliest publications on the Swiss commodity sector with insights into the operations of the sector, its players and the impacts on local communities where the commodities are produced.

Agricultural commodity traders in Switzerland: Benefitting from misery, 2019. This report focuses on agricultural commodity trading and the role of Swiss-based traders which in some cases also involves controlling the production and processing stages in faraway countries where myriads of human rights issues including, lack of livable wages and income, forced and child labour, poor occupation and health safety records are present.

Five Years of Inaction: Why regulation of commodity trade in Switzerland is long overdue, 2018. This report is a critique to the measures put in place by the Swiss government five years after it released its background report on the commodity sector.

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In 2013, the Swiss Federal Council issued a Report of the Inter Departmental Platform on Commodities to the Federal Council, also referred to as the Background report on commodities that highlighted the sectors potential risks, and corresponding recommendations in the areas of human rights, environment, corruption and companies reputational risk. Subsequently, status reports on the implementation of recommendations were issued in 2014, 2015, and 2016. In 2018, the Council issued the report, Swiss commodities sector: current situation and outlook looking at developments in the sector including international regulatory measures relevant to Swiss companies.

At the end of 2018, the Commodity Trading Sector Guidance on Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights were issued. The Guidance was developed through a collaborative multi-stakeholder process involving companies from the sector, NGOs and state authorities drawn from different levels of government. While the effort was for and by the Swiss commodity sector, the guidance is applicable globally.

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