by Cristiana Lopomo
In 2017 Ferrero Group reaches the goal of 100% certified segregated RSPO sustainable palm fruit oil and goes beyond
As of 1st January 2015 Ferrero products are produced with only palm fruit oil that is 100% certified as sustainable and segregated according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) supply chain, two years ahead of its original target.
As of 1st January 2017 Ferrero’s responsibility does not stop at certification: its commitment continues through its Palm Oil Charter, launched in 2013, to address the leading causes of deforestation and create a balance between the conservation of the environment, community needs and economic benefit and viability.
As of 17 November 2017 Ferrero pledges to end deforestation in cocoa production at UN Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn. Ferrero signs Frameworks for Action to end deforestation and restore forest areas in cocoa producing countries Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana.
As for 16 January 2018 Ferrero to acquire nestlé’U.S: Confectionary Business -With this transaction, Ferrero will become the third-largest confectionary company in the U.S. market where it is best known for Tic Tac® breath mints, Ferrero Rocher® pralines, Nutella® hazelnut spreads, the Fannie May and Harry London chocolate brands, and the Ferrara Candy Company, which was recently acquired by a Ferrero affiliated company and whose portfolio of brands includes Trolli®, Brach’s® and Black Forest® Gummies.
- Since 2005, Ferrero has been an active member of the RSPO, an international organisation whose focus is making sustainable palm oil sourcing a normal practice. From the beginning, Ferrero decided to directly source RSPO certified segregated palm oil: it is segregation that provides the tool to keep sustainable palm oil physically separated from non-sustainable palm oil and to trace it from the certified sustainable plantations to the production line. Therefore, Ferrero activated a robust, publically available, time-bound implementation plan, working extensively with its suppliers within a global responsible palm oil procurement policy. Throughout a robust, publically available, time-bound implementation plan, we have worked extensively with our suppliers within a global responsible palm oil procurement policy requiring palm oil that is traceable according to the RSPO Segregated supply chain.
- Currently, all the Ferrero plants utilising palm fruit oil have the RSPO Segregated Certification. These pioneering and rigorous efforts have enabled the Ferrero Group to finally achieve its goal of 100% RSPO certified segregated palm fruit oil in its products. “In achieving 100% segregated certified sustainable palm oil within the context of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, Ferrero has demonstrated that it is tackling tropical deforestation in a credible way” said Richard Holland, Director of WWF’s Market Transformation Initiative.
- While Ferrero is pleased with this achievement, our responsibility does not stop at this certification: in November 2013, the Group announced its strategic partnership with the non-profit organisation TFT (formerly The Forest Trust) by launching its own Ferrero Palm Oil Charter
- The Charter has 10 specific criteria, which have been passed down to suppliers for the implementation in the plantations Ferrero supplies from. We are committed to making sure that our palm oil suppliers are:
1. Providing fully traceable oil, while including smallholders.
2. Not clearing High Carbon Stock forests.
3. Not using fire to clear land.
4. Not planting on peat soils.
5. Protecting orang-utans and other endangered species by maintaining High Conservation Value areas.
6. Reporting on the greenhouse gas emissions of their production.
7. Respecting human rights, including the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of indigenous and local communities.
8. Recognizing, respecting and strengthening the rights of workers.
9. Not using Paraquat.
10. Actively fighting corruption
- The current journey to Ferrero’s Charter is one of collaboration and transparency: activities in the field are carried out with TFT’stft-forests.org teams, suppliers are fully engaged through constructive dialogue and time-bound action plans whilst consumers are kept informed through reports publically available every six months. Ferrero believes it has a significant role to play in leading the sustainable transformation of the palm oil sector, for the benefit of the environment and of the communities living and working in palm oil-producing countries.
- Yet Ferrero’s responsibility does not stop at certification, which is just the first step in meeting our employees’ and consumers’ expectations. Within this framework, we choose to strengthen our commitment to responsibly sourcing palm oil through this Ferrero Palm Oil Charter in order to address the leading causes of deforestation and create the optimal balance between the conservation of the environment, community needs and economic benefit and viability. Beyond this specific palm oil strategy, Ferrero continues its commitment to instilling social responsibility in all daily activities with perseverance, passion and patience, constantly thriving to affirm its distinctive values into the future.
- Ferrero is pleased to inform that on 28th November 2016 the POIG – Palm Oil Innovation Group – released the publication” Palm Oil Innovations: Labour Rights” which defines concrete steps to ensure the management of worker exploitation issues in the palm oil sector. As a POIG member, Ferrero welcomes the release of this document, which represents the first publication on the innovations to break the link between palm oil production and the destruction of forests and peat lands, the exploitation of communities and workers, and climate change.
- This document was guided by the “Free and Fair Labor in Palm Oil Production Principles and Implementation Guidance” a document developed by a wide platform of representatives of civil society, which indicates how to ensure that the rights of workers are respected. The document describes improvements that can be put into practice by palm oil growers and the RSPO to reinforce its current Principles & Criteria on the workers’ right.
- Ferrero has a “Zero tolerance approach” towards child labour and is committed to protect children’s rights all along its supply chain, as stated in its Code of Business Conduct. Ferrero has always been fully committed to fighting against child labor, with the conviction that every child should be protected, by all possible means, from economic exploitation, which is an abominable phenomenon.
- Ferrero suppliers are contractually required to comply with the Ferrero’s Code of Business Conductferrero.com/social-responsibility/code-business-conduct . If cases of child labor are reported, as recently happened, the contract is automatically terminated and the case reported to the appropriate authorities.
- Ferrero’s Code of Business Conduct is coherent with the principles of the ILO’s Minimum Age Convention No. 138 and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention No. 182.
- Moreover, Ferrero already strongly supports the protection of the rights of children all over the world, through the objectives indicated in the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, to which the Ferrero Group has officially adhered.
Certifications and Standards
- Currently, the Group is working with the following certification standards: UTZ, Rainforest Alliance Certified™ and Fairtrade. UTZ certification means sustainable agriculture and better opportunities for farmers, their families and the planet. The UTZ program enhances farmers’ knowledge of good agricultural practices, improves working con-ditions and ensure they care for their children and the environment. Through UTZ, farmers grow better crops and enjoy a higher income, which creates better opportunities for them and their families, preserves the environment and protects the earth’s natural resources.
- Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms support a healthy environment, promote the well-being of workers and their communities and ensure efficient farming methods. Farm workers benefit from safe working conditions and housing, medical care and access to schools for their children. Certification helps ensure the protection of ecosystems, including wildlife habitats, water and soil.
- The Fairtrade Cocoa Program enables small-scale farmers to benefit by selling more of their cocoa as Fairtrade. For more info, visit. Within the Fairtrade Sourcing Program terms, in 2016 Ferrero decided to double the amount of cocoa it purchases from Fairtrade farmers – to 40,000 metric tonnes over the next three years.
- Moreover, Ferrero collaborates with non-profit and farmer organizations to address agricultural, social, environmental and business issues in cocoa farming. Ferrero also supports ongoing local projects to ensure sustainable cocoa production, whilst improving cocoa farmers’ living conditions and the well-being of their communities. Following are some examples of these on-the-ground projects.
- Elimination of child labour through Projects and Partnerships – Save the Children partnership is aimed at the protection and education of child labour victims on cocoa farms in the south-west of the Ivory Coast, by enhancing alternative educational pathways to child labor. Ferrero Fairtrade and Cooperative Union ECOOKIM Joint-Monitoring Programme: sourcing Fairtrade certified and sustainable cocoa from ECOOKIM in the Ivory Coast, with the aim to support further social and sustainable development of the cocoa farming communities and improve their well-being. Fairtrade Child Labour Prevention Programme “It takes a Village to Protect a Child”: supplier ECOOKIM’s engaged in programme to prevent child labour in cocoa communities and promote the well-being of children, through the establishment of a Child Labour committee to conduct awareness-raising activities, develop a child protection policy as well as improve child education. Ferrero Cocoa Community Commitment (F3C): to improve the livelihoods and well-being of cocoa farming families in Ghana, through the reduction of the worst forms of child labour and the increase in household income. Nigeria Kokodola Project is aimed at improving the livelihood of cocoa farmers in western Nigeria, through technical training on best agricultural cocoa practices as well as awareness-raising activities on social issues such as child labour, to address and eliminate them.
Institutional and Collective Engagement
- Furthermore Ferrero is a partner of collective public/private platforms, such as the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI) and the World Cocoa Foundation’s “Cocoa Action” Strategy, whose interventions seek to reduce the occurrence of farm-level practices that have in the past involved the use of children. Ferrero believes that Cocoa Action’s strength lies in combining community development and farmer productivity with the intention of raising farm-level incomes, an approach that should see change in cocoa-growing communities and a reduction in the use of child labor in West Africa.
- For more information please refer to our CSR Report
Ferrero renews partnership with EcoVadis to evaluate Supplier Sustainability Performance Ferrero and EcoVadis announced the renewal of their partnership to assess and improve supply chain sustainability performance over the next three years. Ferrero recognizes that every stakeholder along the value chain has its respective responsibility – and all must work together towards the common objective of creating sustainable and responsible supply chains. The company is strongly committed to sustainability and is convinced that dedication from suppliers is key to achieving sustainable supply chains. As part of its responsible sourcing practices, Ferrero decided to implement a simple process to monitor and rate the environmental, social, and ethical performance of suppliers through the EcoVadis Supplier Sustainability Assessment Platform. The methodology covers 21 criteria across four main themes: environment, social, fair business, and sustainable procurement practices. They are based upon internationally recognized standards and are in line with Ferrero’s Code of Business Conduct and Code of Ethics.