Nestle has committed to Look, Listen & Act.
Nestle’s initial response to Behind The Brands
8 March 2013: In response to Nestle’s public letter to Oxfam committing to explore ways to improve their approach to women in their supply chain, Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign manager Alison Woodhead said:
“We welcome Nestle’s stated intention to improve their impacts on women in their supply chains. They are the first of the 3 big chocolate companies targeted by Behind the Brands to do this publicly. Given their immense influence on the lives of women farmers, it is a promising signal that the company has committed to considering ways to address gaps in their current policies and to producing a detailed plan in the next few weeks. We look forward to seeing whether the specific steps Nestle intends to take go far enough to ensure women in their supply chains have the rights and opportunities they deserve.
Oxfam will continue to press Nestle, Mars and Mondelez to make clear public commitments to: (a) assess and disclose how women are faring in their cocoa supply chain (b) formulate a plan of action to address the issues raised by their assessment, and (c) announce steps to use their influence with other powerful actors to ensure women in their supply chains have a fair shot.”
Today (8 March 2013) Oxfam campaigners will hold public actions at the headquarters of Mars, Mondelez and Nestle in the US tomorrow in honor of International Women’s Day. See Oxfam’s petition.
26 Feb 2013: Nestle Official response: http://www.nestle.com/media/newsandfeatures/nestle-food-security-oxfam-behind-the-brands
We’re glad that Nestle is taking Oxfam’s challenges to its policies seriously but they have yet to answer whether they will pursue our specific ask that they address gender inequality in their cocoa supply chains. Nestlé’s reaction highlights its support to small scale farmers, sustainable use of water and addressing child labor. But Nestle scores poorly on land and women and these are areas of real concern for a company that relies so heavily on land and on women farmers and workers. Nestle does not have any guidelines requiring suppliers to take a zero tolerance approach to land grabbing, nor does it know how many women are involved in their cocoa supply chain and whether these women are at risk of exclusion of exploitation. Words are important, but only if they are backed up by action.