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L'Oreal Group

Bergamot Supply Chain Impact Assessment

L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetic company, and the Danish Institute for Human Rights (DIHR) have been working together since January 2019 to implement human rights into L’Oreal’s operations. This initially began with a gap analysis which suggested L’Oreal identify its human rights risk along its value chain. In 2022 DIHR conducted an impact assessment for L’Oreal, into its citrus supply chain in Calabria, Italy, particularly focusing on labour rights on bergamot farms.

As part of the assessment, the DIHR team visited bergamot and lemon farms in Reggio Calabria, interviewing a total of 48 individuals – including 10 farm workers, four managers and 3 migrant workers living in a nearby ‘tent city’ in San Ferdinando. The assessment found that the essential oil producer has a strong commitment to maintaining sustainable bergamot production, including developing strong relationships with its suppliers. No apparent labour exploitation was found on bergamot farms examined, but migrant worker exploitation was confirmed in mandarin, olive and orange harvesting. Furthermore, the essential oil producer had no connection with the lemon producers in Sicily so could not verify their level of human rights commitment.

In response to the DIHR recommendations to expand its due diligence to the rest of the citrus supply chain in Southern Italy, L’Oreal is working on scaling up their human rights impact assessments on other commodities. They’re also upscaling certification bodies in their human rights knowledge, whilst raising the awareness of suppliers about the importance of human rights due diligence. This includes developing a due diligence training across their value chain with law firms and several organisations on how to correctly implement due diligence across their operations.


The case studies do not make any assessment of whether the measures presented meet the requirements of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs). The aim is rather to demonstrate the feasibility of human rights due diligence management and to offer companies suggestions for their own implementation.

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