Supplier Management

Setting Standards for Good Relations


Our procurement function ensures the timely, global supply of goods and services at suitable market conditions, in the required quality and in accordance with the Group’s ethical, ecological and social standards.

Bayer regards adherence to these sustainability standards within its supply chain as a crucial factor in the value chain. By acting responsibly in collaboration with our suppliers, we aim to minimize risks and create stable, long-term business relationships with our partners. For this reason, we apply not just economic standards, but also environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards in choosing new suppliers or continuing our relationships with existing ones. These standards are defined in Bayer’s Supplier Code of Conduct , which is based on the principles of the UN Global Compact and our Human Rights Position.

To help our suppliers practice sustainability in their daily business, we have developed a Supplier Sustainability Guidance, which is based on the Supplier Code of Conduct. This document aims to provide concrete examples of good practices and benchmarks which suppliers can use, and references such as the regulatory framework and standards governing Bayer’s sustainability efforts.

In the areas of palm oil and soy we support the certified sustainable production of these raw materials as a purchaser of plant oil derivatives, which is especially important in Southeast Asia and South America. We are member of the renowned organizations “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil” (RSPO) and “Round Table Responsible Soy” (RTRS), and purchase so-called “credits” according to the quantities we use. The financial value of these credits rewards farmers who undertake to grow palm oil and soy in a legal and ecologically, socially and economically sustainable way and who demonstrate this as part of an audited certification process.

Further information about sustainability in supplier management can be found in the Procurement section.

Promote Human Rights

We unequivocally promote the realization of human rights. We firmly believe that respect for people is essential to achieving lasting business excellence. The main areas we address are: 'Employees and working conditions,' 'Harassment and discrimination,' 'Freedom of association and collective bargaining,' 'Child labor,' and 'Health and safety.'

We see ourselves as a responsible corporate citizen. We support the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a number of globally recognized declarations for multinational corporations. We fully endorse the principles of the United Nations Global Compact Initiative, of which we are a founding member. We naturally also respect the sovereignty of individual states in implementing human rights.

Stop Child Labor  

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 (CCP) which commenced in India in 2007 and has since been expanded to countries like Bangladesh and the Philippines. The primary objective is getting children off the fields of contract seed production farmers and into school.

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We have taken systematic actions to prevent child labor in the seed supply chain through this program. Our local teams visit the fields used, for example, in cotton, rice and vegetable 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, which is supported by local educational initiatives, we are achieving considerable success with eliminating child labor from our seed production activities. Our activities and progress is also validated during annual external audits. Our seed producers are trained in raising agricultural efficiency. Suppliers who can verify that they strictly observe our ban on child labor receive a bonus. Graduated sanctions are applied for non-compliance. These range from written warnings to termination of the contract in the case of repeated non-compliance.

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. In some villages in India for example, we are working towards improvement of school infrastructure and facilities that would help increase enrollment in the local Government schools as well as providing computers. Additionally we also visit the parents of children we find working in the fields to convince them of the importance of school education.

We promote this approach with the “Learning for Life” initiative within our Child Care Program. This initiative aims to ensure that children and young people get access to quality education including everything from reintegrating children into the regular school system to vocational training measures. Since 2007, The Bayer-Ramanaidu Vignana Jyothi School of Agriculture in India took shape as a part of our overarching objective to boost and nurture science education, and to unlock the potential of bringing scientific training and education to be a part of our sustainable agricultural practices. The School is a social intervention model developed and successfully implemented with a farm-based supply chain that aims at getting young adults trained on a 6 months course about various aspects of agriculture so they could have access to diverse tools and job opportunities.

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. We believe that eradicating child labor is essential to the advancement of a society.