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How do you ensure human rights are respected throughout your value chain?

People and respect for human rights are at the core of Nestlé's culture and values. For well over a decade, we have been committed to respecting human rights across our business activities: carrying out due diligence on the ground, raising awareness, promoting best practice, and empowering people across our value chain.

By respecting and advancing human rights across our value chain, we are helping build the foundations toward a fairer and more equitable food system.

Human rights have been fully integrated in our governance structure. Since 2011, we have trained over 280,000 employees on human rights. We have also engaged thousands of stakeholders including NGOs to seek their feedback and strive for continuous improvement.

What is Nestlé doing to respect human rights across its value chain?

Much of our work so far has been about building the systems and developing the processes that allow us to assess, address and report on human rights risks in our operations and supply chains. We have also made significant progress by creating awareness of human rights where it was limited and by building capacities where they were needed. Read more: Human rights journey timeline (pdf, 100Kb)

In December 2021, we published our Human Rights Framework and Roadmap to accelerate our efforts and go a step further in protecting people throughout our value chain.

Due diligence – assessing, addressing and reporting transparently on actual and potential human rights risks - is at the heart of our Human Rights Framework. Early 2023, we have publicly launched action plans for each of our 10 salient issues. By 2025, we will report our progress against our action plans. In the meantime, we will continue to report through our Creating Shared Value reports.

Due diligence is supported by five enablers to ensure that our actions are effective. For instance, we will continue to integrate human rights at all levels of our governance structure and are creating incentives to drive continuous improvement. Read more about our five enablers and 10 salient issues: Our approach to human rights 

How do you ensure human rights are respected in your supply chain?

  • Mandatory requirements: We set out non-negotiable requirements (pdf, 2Mb), including on human rights, that we require our suppliers to adhere to at all times.
  • Compliance: Accredited firms conduct independent audits to verify compliance. If non-compliance issues or gaps are found, a plan is developed and implemented.
  • Upstream supply chains: In addition, we work closely with our direct suppliers and partners to conduct a mapping of our upstream supply chains and carry out farm assessments. In many cases, this helps to identify issues that require long-term, tailored interventions to tackle their root causes.
  • Last resort: If our suppliers fail to take corrective action on any violations or meet agreed deadlines, we will take measures that include removing them from our supply chain and ending contracts.

Learn more: Our Responsible Sourcing Standard (pdf, 2Mb)

What is Nestlé doing to protect children in particular?

Children deserve the chance to learn, to grow in a safe and healthy environment. We are committed to working with our suppliers and local communities to prevent and address child labor risks in our supply chain.

Tens of thousands of children have been positively impacted by our work to tackle child labor. Poverty, lack of access to education, and limited awareness about child safety are among the root causes of child labor. Our work seeks to take action on the ground and address these root causes, and our social impact has been assessed by independent third-parties. We've worked to build and refurbish 50 schools in the Ivory Coast and enhanced access to education, ultimately protecting 145 000 children against the risk of child labor.

In January 2022, we announced a new plan to tackle child labor risks in cocoa production. At the center is an innovative income accelerator program, which aims to improve the livelihoods of cocoa-farming families, while also advancing regenerative agriculture practices and gender equality. A cash incentive will be paid directly to cocoa-farming households for certain activities such as enrollment of children in school and pruning among several others.

The Fair Labor Association (FLA) has assessed this work and has confirmed the progress we’ve made on key areas such as transparency, raising awareness of child labor, increasing school attendance, and providing income-generating activities.

Do you report on human rights?

We believe transparency and progress are mutually dependent. New technologies, like satellite monitoring, worker voice mechanisms and blockchain have been critical to understanding the issues we face in the supply chains and how to address them. We are also exploring multiple options and technologies for promoting human rights across our value chain. These approaches include further tech-enabled worker voice mechanisms, as well as digital surveys that provide new ways to reach workers beyond traditional audits.

We also disclose our list of suppliers alongside a variety of data of our priority raw materials that are part of our Responsible Sourcing program. This is the first disclosure of its kind in the industry and aims at increasing transparency in the agri-food sector. This covers 95 percent of our company's annual sourcing of raw materials. We also provide individual breakdowns of raw ingredients and actions being taken in each supply chain.

Further to the launch of our Human Rights Framework and Roadmap, we will continue to hold ourselves to high standards of transparency. We have worked on defining KPIs on human rights. These are published as part of our salient issue action plans. By 2025, we will report on our progress on implementing our salient issue action plans.


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