Bangladesh supplier factory fire

Our thoughts are with all those affected by the fire and explosion at the Tampaco packaging factory on 10 September 2016, which supplied Nestlé Bangladesh with packaging products. We continue to follow the investigation into this incident, which has not yet reached a definitive conclusion.

The factory supplied Nestlé Bangladesh, along with a number of other companies. It did not supply any materials for Nestlé’s operations in other countries.

We welcome the awarding of compensation to affected workers and their families from the Bangladeshi Government’s Bangladesh Labour Welfare Foundation Fund (BLWFF), intended for such industrial incidents. Nestlé Bangladesh is one of the most significant contributors to this fund from the company’s which pay into it. Since the fund was set up in 2009, we have contributed more than three quarters of a million Swiss Francs (CHF).

Unfortunately, only a small proportion – approximately 66 from over 23,000 - of private sector companies with an obligation to pay into the fund actually do so. We will work with authorities and others to encourage greater participation.

An audit of the Tampaco factory by SGS for Nestlé Bangladesh took place in 2011, which found a number of deficiencies. All of the findings relating to health and safety were rectified by the time of a follow up inspection in December 2012. A further audit was planned by the end of 2016.

Prioritising the health and safety of workers, and ensuring that fire prevention and emergency procedures are in place are non-negotiable requirements for Nestlé’s suppliers. In light of this incident, we will use the outcomes of the investigation to look at our responsible sourcing auditing processes, to see how provisions on worker and site safety of suppliers can be strengthened further.

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