Report by TFT and the Danish Institute for Human Rights published today
Since January 2019, TFT has become Earthworm Foundation.
TFT and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) today published a report on labour and human rights impacts in Nestlé’s palm oil supply chain in Indonesia. The report, which was commissioned by Nestlé to better understand the existing and potential labour impacts of its palm oil supply chain, is based on findings from field work undertaken by DIHR and TFT in North Sumatra and Jambi, Indonesia. It contains several recommendations to strengthen companies’ and other stakeholders’ commitments to protecting workers and communities. As a result of the report, Nestlé and its main Indonesian supplier Golden Agri-Resources (GAR), whose suppliers were visited for the report, have developed action plans to address the challenges in their supply chains and make improvements in these areas.
The findings in the report echo other studies into labour conditions in the palm oil sector and importantly highlight the challenges faced by smaller players in the sector, with implications for how traders and brands source responsibly. As such, the report recommends actions for Nestlé, GAR, other palm oil growers and buyers, the Indonesian government, palm oil certification bodies and civil society organisations.
Nestlé has been a member of TFT since 2010, working with us to reduce the environmental and social impact of its palm oil footprint. Nestlé was the first global company to create and implement a No Deforestation policy for palm oil. GAR became a TFT member in 2011 and announced the GAR Social and Environmental Policy in 2015. This report is the first time all three organisations have worked together specifically on labour issues, collaborating with DIHR, which has conducted 12 human rights assessments for Nestlé to date. While previous assessments focused on Nestlé’s own operations and sourcing of various commodities at country level, this is the first where Nestlé has honed in on one commodity at the supplier and country level.
Hilary Thompson is Head of TFT’s Respect programme, which focuses on worker rights around the world. Hilary says: “We are pleased to have contributed to this valuable work on labour conditions. We will continue to support both Nestlé and GAR on the implementation of their respective action plans as they seek to bring change on the ground.”
Claus Teilmann Petersen is Department Director of Human Rights and Business at DIHR. Claus says: “We are glad that Nestlé and GAR have developed action plans to address the identified impacts. What we hope to achieve with this assessment and our collaboration with Nestlé is improved human rights conditions for workers in the Indonesian palm oil supply chain, all the way down to the individual farmer and his or her family.”
TFT Indonesia is working with Nestlé and GAR on the implementation of their action plans. Janhavi Naidu, TFT Indonesia’s Respect Programme Manager, says: “Our goal is to see members take concrete actions to tackle labour issues in their supply chains and we look forward to continuing the collaboration with them on this aspect.”