2014 Executive Summary, Nestlé, Balsu & Olam Hazelnut Supply Chain, Turkey

In August of 2014, the FLA conducted a series of assessments on a supply chain in Turkey shared by three FLA members — Nestlé, and two of its first-tier hazelnut suppliers, Balsu and Olam, which together account for 99 percent of Nestlé’s hazelnut volume. A team consisting of both FLA assessors and external assessors visited a total of 70 hazelnut gardens in 2014, interviewing 437 workers about their working conditions. Assessors found 82 young workers (between 15 and 18 years of age) and 46 child workers (younger than 15) among the workforce, and reported on violations related to discrimination against migrant workers, wages below the legal minimum, and others.

Since the FLA’s previous assessments, Balsu and Olam have taken action to remediate findings of child labor through efforts like a summer school project and pilot project organizing play sessions for children.  Nestlé has provided support to ILO projects designed to reduce child labor in two temporary settlements (Uzunisa and Efirli) by improving infrastructure and education for migrant workers and their children. Also, combining their remediation efforts, Nestlé, Balsu, and Olam have together established a new grievance channel (a toll-free hotline) to allow all workers to raise complaints and workplace issues anonymously.

Additionally, both first-tier suppliers — Balsu and Olam — have begun tracing their own supply chains, working with their second-tier suppliers and beyond to register all of the 4,000 hazelnut gardens that ultimately supply for Nestlé.  Greater visibility into previously hidden parts of the supply chain will result in a greater ability for all three companies to improve conditions for workers.  The executive summary below combines all findings from the various hazelnut assessments in the Duzce, Ordu, and Sakarya regions of Turkey, and includes the members’ planned and completed remediation activities.