On 31 May the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) together with members of Barilla Group’s EWC in representation of their respective trade unions signed a health and safety agreement with management at the Italian agri-food Barilla Group. The goal of the agreement is ‘to set out guidelines to promote better and broader preventative health and safety measures across the group’s sites, also against psychosocial risks and work-related stress,’ by focusing on social dialogue and especially on work by the EWC, according to a press statement published on 13 June.

The agreement focuses on social dialogue as well as ‘clear orchestration among levels of information and consultation including at European level with a specific role for the EWC coordinated by EFFAT’ in order to improve preventive measures. The Barilla Group commits thus to ‘guaranteeing active participation’ by workers and/or workers’ representatives on the issue of health and safety and when necessary providing the necessary training. The company intends to ‘develop a participatory system of constant and constructive dialogue,’ between Barilla management, trade unions and other worker representation bodies to anticipate and correct those factors that can prove a risk for workers (physical, organizational, or psychosocial.


n this context, the EWC will have a specific official role because the agreement intends for central management, EFFAT and its members commit to 1- introducing the issue of workers’ health and safety as a permanent topic on the agenda, 2- organizing courses and opportunities for training, information and raising awareness, including the involvement and support of experts and specialists in the subject, 3- scheduling opportunities for providing detailed information and discussion about the situation in the various countries and sites (management undertakes to provide up-to-date information and data on health and safety in the Group’s various European sites), 4- finding a common approach between the parties, by sharing the best solutions, experiences and practices matured in the various countries and sites, as well as in other corporate environments, 5- identifying the sites and operating situations for priority intervention in order to improve health and safety indicators, 6- proposing transversal prevention plans linked to quantitative and qualitative targets, 7- introducing follow-up policies on a national and local level, and 8- monitoring, analyzing, and discussing the various actions taken or planned in each country during the plenary session of the EWC.

In addition the parties undertake to introduce suitable and effective measures to ensure each person within the Group, regardless of their role or type of relation (e.g. outsources, suppliers and contractors), can benefit from the best possible health and safety protection.

For the full content of the agreement in English and in various language choices, please click here.