We have a team of more than 1,100 sourcing staff and more than 12,000 support staff worldwide who work to develop the supply of raw materials and support the farmers who supply us directly, through our Farmer Connect programme or indirectly through trade associations.
Rural Development Framework
We recently launched the Rural Development Framework (see Managing rural development) to set out boundaries that we expect the countries we operate in to work within.
During 2012, we decided to focus our community work on the 21 countries identified in the Rural Development Framework where we have the potential to make the biggest positive impact. We anticipate that we will use the framework in some additional countries, but our focus in the meantime will involve supporting the 21 countries, which we identified through consideration of social need and business need:
- Under business need, we listed the most significant countries for us from a sourcing perspective for the period through to 2020. We looked at coffee, cocoa, dairy and the development of local sourcing strategies (such as rice, chillies and cassava). We also considered the presence/absence of factories in these rural communities.
- Under social need, we considered the UN Human Development Index , adjusted by inequality in society (where data was available). We also looked at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Global Hunger Index. These allowed us to plot countries in a matrix of increasing business importance and increasing social need. The 21 countries came out in the high categories.
Engaging rural communities using the Framework
We discussed the Framework with our supply chain partners and at our stakeholder convening in London, and received comments to help improve it. We have a roadmap for implementation that starts with three countries in early 2013, after which we will refine the framework and baseline data.
We will commence implementation in early 2013, by carrying out baseline assessments to assess the status and needs. We will then assess the design programmes to be implemented through the Nescafé Plan, the Cocoa Plan and the Responsible Sourcing Guidelines.
Reducing impact on communities near our factories
Our focus for community engagement is primarily in our supply chain through the Rural Development Framework (which provides a structured approach engagement) as this is more material than the communities near our factories. However, we continue to address impacts in communities from our factory activities.
We have 468 factories worldwide in a variety of different locations – industrial estates, built up areas and country locations. In all cases, there are local communities surrounding them that are likely to be impacted positively or negatively one way or the other.
We have identified the following significant potential or actual negative factory impacts that affect communities. Our prioritisation of potential impacts to date has been on high-risk countries, and particularly new factory investments in these countries. Potential impacts are:
- Factory construction
- Land acquisition process (for factories)
- Closure of factories
- Safety incidents/industrial accidents
- Major employer within a region/community
- Contracted service providers (security, clinical trials)
- Social unrest
- Water use
- Pollution, smells and noise from factories, and
- Health and wellness of community
To address these impacts, we generally go beyond legal compliance. For example:
- We implement prevention and mitigation measures to minimise negative impacts of operations on communities. These measures are ongoing in many instances. For instance, our community impact assessments in Nigeria, Colombia, Angola and Sri Lanka have informed operational action plans, some of which have already been implemented.
- In water stewardship, we go beyond our formal responsibilities by taking a collaborative approach with other water users in the watershed.
- We support ‘free, prior and informed consent’ – the principle that a community has the right to give or withhold its consent to proposed projects that may affect its lands.
- We have a comprehensive database of pollution from factories including major fines for permit infractions or breaches of legislation.
Nestlé Waters community programme
Good relations with the local communities around our factories are key. In 2012, Nestlé Waters developed a guidebook for factory managers that provides a framework and tools to help understand and address the concerns and expectations of local populations. Roll-out of the guidelines began mid-2012, and will continue into 2013.
In 2012, the CARE audit programme commenced assessment of factory performance on community engagement and social impacts. Guidance on how to engage with communities has also been provided. See also Managing compliance for details on CARE audit results and findings in 2012.
Complaints-handling and resolution
We are responsive to reports relating to local community concerns about factory impacts, received from the countries in which we operate. We aim to enhance our reporting on complaints handling and resolution and will communicate progress on this in future Nestlé in Society reports. Please also see the Human rights section for details on our plans regarding external and grievance mechanism.
Respecting the rights of indigenous peoples
We respect the rights and title of indigenous peoples and local communities, and enact them through our community impact assessments and Responsible Sourcing Guidelines.
Our community impact assessment aims to identify and quantify the intangible/human rights risks associated with our operations in a transparent manner. In this way we hope to anticipate, understand and manage our impacts on the social and physical environment. For indigenous communities impact assessments encompass:
- Land management (land passage): honouring the land, passage and usage rights of a local or indigenous people on company-controlled land.
- Intellectual property: obtaining informed consent of the creator/owner before using local artistic or copyrightable material or patenting a previously unpatented invention.
Our Responsible Sourcing Guidelines include a commitment to the principle of “free prior and informed consent” for local communities and indigenous peoples. See also Human rights.