Respecting and promoting human rights

Awareness of human rights abuses has grown significantly in recent years. Consumers increasingly want to know about human rights in the supply chains of companies they buy from, and what those businesses are doing to address abuses. We are very clear that human rights abuses have no place in our supply chains. Instead, we believe our business benefits by having a strong and happy worker base throughout our supply chain that makes each tier of that chain more stable and secure.


In 2017, we carried out our first human rights impact assessment in an upstream supply chain, in our palm oil supply chain in Indonesia.

We published Labour Rights in Agricultural Supply Chains: A Roadmap in 2017, containing action plans for each of our 11 salient human rights issues

Tackling Child Labour, published in October 2017, is our first report on child labour in our cocoa supply chain


Our approach

The challenges involved in addressing human rights in supply chains are often complex and not easy to address. We cannot tackle these alone, and so work in collaboration with key partners to identify challenges and solutions aligned with supporting the Sustainable Development Goals. We believe that our business benefits by having a strong and happy worker base throughout our supply chain that makes each tier of that chain more stable and secure.

See our full report (pdf, 12Mb) for details of our progress against our commitments to address human rights in our supply chains.

Understanding the risks to children

Nestlé co-funded a Strengthening Child Protection workshop led by supplier Wilmar. The workshop was a multi-stakeholder consultation to gain insight from palm oil businesses, and document challenges encountered by business to ensure the well-being of children of plantation workers. As well as Nestlé, representatives from UNICEF, the International Labour Organization (ILO), Humana Child Aid Society, the Indonesian Consulate and other important players in the palm oil industry contributed to the discussion.

Tackling human rights abuses in palm oil

We have completed our first human rights impact assessment in an upstream supply chain – our palm oil supply chain in Sumatra, Indonesia. By assessing a supplier’s mill, and interviewing more than 200 employees, community members and other stakeholders, we can identify the key human rights and labour challenges to be addressed, and formulate solutions.

Improving labour standards in seafood

In partnership with the Thai government and a supplier, we have developed a showcase fishing vessel to ILO standards for use in training to address labour rights abuses in the seafood industry. The boat will be used to train owners and crew members and demonstrate the standards we expect on all boats.

Improving sugar workers’ conditions in Mexico

Working with Proforest we are tackling labour rights issues and child labour in the sugar cane industry in Mexico. Focusing on the La Gloria mill, we have implemented measures and training that have resulted in a significant drop in child labour. We have also renovated three workers’ shelters in 2017, providing workers with access to sanitation, including showers, better cooking facilities, and individual bed and storage space.

From labour to education

Child labour is a complex and sensitive issue, nowhere more so than in the cocoa supply chain in Côte d’Ivoire. Through education, awareness raising and address the root causes, we are making real progress in taking children out of labour and into school.

Remedying labour violations in Mexico

Labour rights abuses have been identified in the coffee industry in Mexico. We are working with the specialised NGO Verité to assess violations as a first step towards building a system that will enable us to act more systematically on remediating such violations.