Confectionery giant Nestlé has partnered with Sime Darby Plantation (SDP) to address the human and labor rights abuses in their shared palm oil supply chain in Malaysia.
The FMCG giant said in a statement that they created a helpline with the solution developer ELEVATE and Responsible Business Alliance, which will allow workers to report on conditions, recruitment, safety and other labor issues.
“This initiative marks another milestone in the implementation of the Nestlé action plan on labor rights in palm oil. We are very clear that human and labor rights abuses have no place in Nestlé’s supply chain. This is why we are committed to tackling this issue and helping drive positive change in the palm oil sector,” Magdi Batato, Nestlé executive VP, head of operations, said.
“We are working alongside other stakeholders including suppliers and we believe these ongoing efforts will help improve the lives of those affected by unacceptable practices.”
Workers will be able to voice out their concerns via SMS, Facebook Messenger or a toll-free number accessible seven days a week during peak call times, with after-hours messaging options. Their issues will be handled via clear protocols with consistent attention to follow up and resolution of issues. The companies aim to significantly reduce the risk of human and labor rights abuses.
The confectionery giant’s new initiative stems from Nestlé’s Corporate Business Principles and Responsible Sourcing Standard. SDP and Nestlé aim to introduce and promote the helpline system within the FMCG industry.
Nestlé is working with other members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) on a new research report published on November 6, 2018 by the Fair Labor Association (FLA). The report details forced labor situation in the palm oil sector in Malaysia and Indonesia.