Improving Workers’ Livelihoods

Our commitment: Improve workers’ livelihoods and protect children in our agricultural supply chain

Nestlé aims to improve the livelihoods of workers through its supply chain, and to protect labour rights. We have a number of salient labour rights issues, and are developing action plans to enable us to identify and address the root causes of those issues. Protecting children is a top priority for us, and our Child Labour Monitoring and Remediation System (CLMRS) is a major programme to address child labour and support children of farmers and workers.

Our objective in 2016

By 2016: In collaboration with external partners, develop a roadmap on labour rights in agricultural supply chains, addressing salient labour rights issues (i.e. child labour, freedom of association and collective bargaining, forced labour, health and safety, living wage, workers’ accommodation and basic service needs, working time) in all key commodities across sourcing countries.

Our progress to date

We continued to roll out our CLMRS, which operates in our cocoa supply chain, throughout Côte d’Ivoire. In 2016, the CLMRS was extended to a further 29 co‑operatives, taking the total to 69. We will be closely monitoring success throughout the year and a major report about our key findings and learning points around child labour will be produced in 2017. We also expanded the system into Ghana in 2016.

New child labour audits were carried out in our sugar and seafood supply chains. We also began a farm assessment programme in our cereals supply chain; results will be available next year.

An increase in the number of children working in the hazelnut harvest has been identified, possibly due to increasing numbers of Syrian refugees moving into Turkey. Remedial activities included taking children out of the supply chain and into education. We continue to work with key partners to address these issues.

In our vanilla supply chain in Madagascar, we engaged with a second supplier, Mané, to increase our child labour remediation activities on the ground.

The issue of migrant workers and its effects on child labour became particularly apparent in 2016, with a sharp increase in migrant workers from Syria and southern Africa. By understanding how workers from these and other countries are being recruited, we can gain a better understanding of the root causes of child labour.

From the audits carried out, we also realised that the audit system was no longer adequate to address the root causes. We are now working with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to identify and implement new ways of working that will be more effective in enabling us to address these causes.

Our objectives towards 2020

By 2017: Release the roadmap with clear priorities for each salient labour rights issue.
By 2018: Start reporting on the number of workers in agricultural supply chains having benefitted from our interventions on select salient labour rights issues.
By 2020: Start reporting on the number of workers in agricultural supply chains having benefitted from our interventions on all salient labour rights issues.

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