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Implement responsible sourcing

Farmer with cow

Our commitment

Implement responsible sourcing in our supply chain and promote animal welfare


Sustainable food systems rely on sustainably produced ingredients. That starts with responsible sourcing, which in turn requires traceability. We make it our business to know not just where our ingredients come from, but how they are produced and the impact they have on the environment.

Demonstrating our commitment

Over the past ten years, we have become increasingly transparent. We have used cutting-edge technologies to evolve how we gather, record and apply learnings across our raw materials supply chains around the world.

In 2019, 66% of our total spend and volume was sourced from audited and compliance suppliers. In 2020, we have updated our Tier 1 audit program to take into account the learnings of the past ten years. As a result, both the scope of the program and the KPI have changed. We now focus on compliance per site (instead of spend and volume) and focus our resources on the higher risk and most important suppliers. In addition, 73% of our total spend for our most important ingredients qualifies as responsibly sourced, meaning we have achieved our main objective.

In 2020, we were – for the first time – ranked in the top 15% of all assessed food companies on welfare standards and practices by the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare. We were also commended for our transparency on animal welfare in our supply chain.

We have long been working to protect the human rights of people living in farming communities. Today, we are monitoring over 86 000 children at risk of child labor and have helped more than 40 000 children access education.

86000 +

A forest positive approach to sourcing ingredients

Agriculture – whether crops or livestock – needs land. For decades, forests have been cleared to feed rapidly growing populations. This in turn is contributing to climate change. In 2020, we took an important step toward evolving our strategy from a focus on no deforestation to a forest positive approach.

This new approach involves sourcing from suppliers who are actively conserving and restoring forests while promoting sustainable livelihoods and respecting human rights.

We began by carrying out a Forest Footprint pilot exercise (pdf, 2Mb) across Indonesia’s Aceh province to better understand risks to forests and peatlands within our palm oil supply chain. We also wanted to gain insight into risks to the rights of Indigenous peoples and communities.

Despite some limits to the process, we believe it is an important factor in developing our future forest positive strategy.

forest positive

Moving toward deforestation-free ingredients

As of December 2020, 90% of the key forest-risk commodities in scope that we buy – soya, palm oil, meat, sugar, and pulp and paper – were assessed as deforestation-free.

From using satellite monitoring to co-created community land-use plans, we are at the forefront of best practice to protect essential forests.
We will continue to work with smallholder farmers and large suppliers alike to reach 100% assessed as deforestation-free by 2022.

We are evolving from a no-deforestation strategy to a ‘forest-positive’ one: we will buy from suppliers who are actively conserving and restoring forests while promoting sustainable livelihoods and respecting human rights.

Benjamin Ware Global Head of Responsible Sourcing, Nestlé