We are committed to ethical sourcing, using sustainable raw materials and running projects to improve the lives of communities across our supply chain.
This ensures that all of our delicious Options and Ovaltine products are made responsibly and that we have a positive impact in our sector.
We want to make sure that everyone working across our supply chain and in our own sites works in safe and healthy conditions, receives a fair wage and is treated with dignity. We promote and respect human rights throughout our entire supply chain, whether it’s packing Ovaltine in our factory in Thailand, growing cocoa in Cote d’Ivoire or making plastic jars in China. We do this through our Ethical Sourcing Programme.
We also know that we rely on a range of high quality raw materials for our delicious Options and Ovaltine products, which is why we are committed to sourcing ingredients in a responsible and sustainable way.
We also care for the communities involved in making our products around the world, from remote cocoa farmers and their families to communities living near factories. We run a series of projects aimed at improving the quality of life and livelihoods of these communities.
You can read all about our work in our 2017 Responsible Sourcing Report here.
Our own factories and first-tier suppliers are covered by our Ethical Sourcing Programme and Code of Conduct.
Our Code of Conduct is at the heart of our Ethical Sourcing Programme and all of our suppliers must commit to it. It is based on the main conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Base Code of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI).
For both existing and new suppliers we run a risk assessment to assess labour rights risks at the sites where our goods are manufactured or our raw materials processed. This risk assessment guides us on what action needs to be taken, whether that is asking them to make changes to adhere to our Code of Conduct, reviewing further data or commissioning a third party ethical audit. We continue to reassess these risks throughout the commercial relationship.
We like to take a collaborative approach and so we offer training workshops, awareness sessions and other guidance for our sites around the world to help build their capacity to deal with ethical and legal requirements and ensure workplace improvements are made for the long term.
Sourcing Sustainable Raw Materials
Our business depends on the consistent, high quality supply of agricultural products such as cocoa, palm oil and barley, and on the individual farmers that grow them around the world. We are committed to sourcing these ingredients in a way that’s better for farmers and better for the environment.
In Europe, all cocoa we buy is 100% UTZ Certified. UTZ Certification is one of the leading certification standards for cocoa. The UTZ programme enables farmers to learn sustainable farming methods, improve working conditions and take better care of their families and the environment. We’re also currently working with select suppliers in Indonesia that have robust sustainable sourcing programmes in place.
Ovaltine is a contributing partner of the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI), and in 2017 we joined the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF).
We recognise that palm oil is linked to the livelihoods of thousands of people in South East Asia, but when grown without care, it can seriously damage the environment through deforestation and loss of biodiversity.
We have already reduced the use of palm oil in many of our products by replacing it with more sustainable alternatives, but small amounts of palm oil are still present in some products.
In 2013 we reached our goal to sustainably source all of the palm oil and palm oil derivatives contained in our products.
Caring for Our Communities
We are working in Côte d’Ivoire to protect children and improve lives in cocoa growing communities in our supply chain. Through our programme, we raise awareness of child rights and child protection within the communities and establish a support network for children, whilst also strengthening education infrastructure, such as rebuilding classrooms. There is also support for women and youth groups in order to build sustainable income-generating activities so that families can afford to send their children to school.
Some of the impacts of the first phase of the programme include:
- One block of three classrooms has been constructed in each community, and three existing classrooms have been renovated, providing access to education facilities for 316 children.
- Creation of women’s groups and training on how to grow cassava, yams, corn and peanut to help generate an additional family income.
- Establishment and training of Community Service Groups composed of young adults. These provide affordable adult labour in order to reduce the risk of children being hired instead.
- 325 farmers have been trained in Good Agricultural Practices through Farmer Field Schools in each community.
- 900 community members have been reached by awareness session on child labour.
- 80 children have received a birth certificate.
- The child labour rate is significantly lower (11%) in communities benefitting from the project than for communities not benefitting from the project (25%).