In February 2016, Nestlé independently disclosed that following a year-long internal investigation, it had found forced labour in its Thai seafood supply chains. Migrant workers from Myanmar and Cambodia had been found to be working on fishing vessels, mills and seafood farms under modern slavery conditions. Nestlé’s decision to publicly disclose the findings is rare and was lauded by NGOs as a ground-breaking effort to encourage greater supply chain transparency.
Nestlé has since taken detailed measures as part of a wider action plan to support responsible sourcing from Thailand, involving supply chain mapping and training, as well as partnerships with Thai NGOs. By 2017, Nestlé achieved 99% traceability for wild-caught tuna and farmed shrimp, and banned transhipment at sea — the act of offloading goods from one ship to another — a key risk factor for forced labour. In 2020, Nestle launched two projects in Thailand developing workshops and content aimed at increasing awareness of labour rights.
The company also works with the non-profit Issara Institute to ensure that seafood supply chain workers have access to an independent helpline where they could seek assistance and support. In addition, Nestlé has ensured that its Responsible Sourcing Standard principles are written into commercial relationships, which set forth responsible sourcing requirements for first-tier suppliers, affiliates, sub-tier suppliers and origin service providers.