2016 Executive Summary, Nestlé, Balsu & Olam Hazelnut Supply Chain, Turkey

In August 2016, the Fair Labor Association (FLA) conducted independent assessments in the Turkish hazelnut supply chain shared by three FLA members – Nestlé, and its two strategic first-tier suppliers, Balsu and Olam Progida which together account for 100 percent of Nestlé’s hazelnut volume in Turkey.

All three companies are FLA members and have monitoring and remediation programs in place. Based on both internal and external monitoring results, members must develop and implement remediation actions leading to sustainable changes. In Turkey, the three companies closely collaborate to implement monitoring and remediation activities, with Balsu and Olam  Progida having a more direct implementation role at the field level. Both suppliers are working on progressively tracing their hazelnut supply chain and increasing the number of farms under the scope of monitoring. 

Visiting the same regions – but not the same villages and farms – progress could be identified in the 2016 assessments (compared to 2015 assessments) in areas like farmers’ awareness of the companies’ Workplace Code of Conduct expectations, and training of workers on health, safety, and environmental principles. The FLA also found an in the reporting of child labor, rising from around two percent of the workforce in 2015 to around 11 percent in 2016.

Assessors also noted that political turmoil and clashes in Kurdish-populated Southeastern Turkey (the origin of the seasonal migrant workers in agriculture) may have had affected the increase of child labor in 2016. The civil war in neighboring Syria has deteriorated the livelihoods of the inhabitants of these regions and some workers stated that they had no choice but to work in the hazelnut harvest with their children to earn a living.  While these factors may have increased the systemic risk of child labor, the increase in the child labor rate also suggests that company plans to mitigate child labor in their supply chains were not able to cope with these developments. The reporting also indicates the continued need for progress in other areas like hours of work, wages, discrimination against migrant workers, and transportation safety.