Bayer purchases goods and services worth more than EUR 17 billion from over 100,000 suppliers in around 150 countries (figures for 2018). We regard it as one of our responsibilities to collaborate with suppliers that are as sustainability-minded as we are.
We check compliance with the Code by means of an online evaluation by the supplier or by on-site audits. The suppliers to be audited are selected at the beginning of the year according to their strategic importance and based on a sustainability risk approach. In the event of defects, we work together with our suppliers to develop improvement measures to help them comply with ethical, social and environmental principles in the future. If there are particularly critical sustainability weaknesses in the online evaluation or an on-site audit, and if no further improvement can be determined in a re-examination, Bayer reserves the right to terminate the supplier relationship.
In addition, we are committed to the responsible procurement of so-called conflict minerals. Suppliers should ensure that no products are delivered to Bayer that contain metals whose raw materials come from a conflict region where they directly or indirectly contribute to the financing or support of armed groups or cause or encourage human rights abuses. We have established testing processes to meet our due diligence requirements for conflict minerals.
Child labor is mentally, emotionally and physically harmful. It is socially unacceptable and ethically indefensible. We do not tolerate child labor. And our zero tolerance policy applies across our supply chain. We have a long term commitment to eliminating child labor in seed production and to raise awareness on the child labor issue around the world. With a clear commitment of Zero Tolerance to child labor, we have taken the initiative to eradicate child labor from our supply chain through our multi-level Child Care Program. The primary objective is getting children off the fields of contract seed production farmers and into school.
Our local teams visit the fields used, for example, in cotton and rice seed production throughout the cultivation season in order to raise awareness of the issue and best seed production practices and to determine the age of the workers there. Thanks to this diligent monitoring system we are achieving considerable success with eliminating child labor from our seed production activities. Our activities and progress is also validated during external audits.
We regard school attendance not only as essential for children’s development but also as an effective tool to drive the elimination of child labor. We therefore have initiated several projects to help children and young adults to access education.
Raising awareness on this important issue requires continued widespread action within the agricultural sector including governments. We remain committed to supporting collaborative stakeholder efforts to address best practices in seed production and especially raise action levels with respect to elimination of child labor.