Responsible sourcing

Our commitment: Implement Responsible Sourcing in Our Supply Chain and Promote Farm Animal Welfare


By 2016 – 50% of the quantity of material purchased or the amount spent with U.S. suppliers is represented by suppliers who comply with the Nestlé Supplier Code.

Our Progress

In 2015, we conducted 522 audits, achieving 115% of our target goal, resulting in a three-year total of 1,419 completed audits, 89% of which were compliant with the Nestlé Responsible Sourcing Program. In 2016, we initiated an important shift in our audit program led by our Global Purchasing Leadership team. We changed the measurement process from number of audits to a more meaningful metric, instead measuring the percentage of the quantity of materials or purchases with compliant suppliers. This new metric gives us greater visibility into our supply chain and our progress against our commitments and long-term goals. In 2016, 69% of our quantity of materials or purchases within the U.S. Nestlé supply base—both direct and indirect—was sourced from suppliers compliant to the Nestlé Responsible Sourcing program, compared to our global target of 50%.

In addition, Nestlé has developed a greenhouse gas assessment for suppliers and began tracking their GHG emissions against this protocol. In our first year using the assessment, 45% of Nestlé’s purchases on ingredients, products, and services in the U.S. was represented by suppliers compliant with the Nestlé GHG requirements.


Nestlé works closely with our dairy suppliers and considers them part of our team, and we collaborate with them to improve efficiency and sustainability. We conduct on-farm assessments with our farmers, covering everything from animal care and soil erosion to water quality and stewardship. These longer-term relationships with farmers mean that we are able to think more about and plan for what consumers expect—including organic, pesticide-free, and no rBST, and we are working to get our dairy farmers and other suppliers equipped to meet the demand for growing consumer choice. Our specifications and high standards for the dairy industry reflect our approach across all raw materials.


Nestlé Purina is the largest buyer of fish and seafood among our U.S. operations, and Nestlé has been working diligently with industry stakeholders to identify—to the extent possible—sources of our fish and seafood ingredients. We provide all of our global seafood purchasing information to our independent NGO partner, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), to assess the health and sustainability of wild fisheries from which our seafood supply originates, including whole fish and by-products.

In Thailand specifically, we embarked on a dedicated project to eliminate human rights violations and encourage sustainable fishing. One year into the program, more than 99% of the seafood ingredients that Nestlé sources from its seafood supply chain in Thailand are traceable back to farms and catch vessels. Additionally, Nestlé, its seafood supplier, and Verité, an NGO whose mission is to enhance human rights on a global basis, continue to work closely with the Royal Thai Government, Thailand’s Department of Fisheries, and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center to develop a practical training program to educate vessel owners, boat captains, and crew members on living and working conditions aboard a fishing vessel and on worker’s rights in Thailand.

Across Nestlé Purina, we know 223 wild fisheries from which we source globally. We continue to work closely with SFP to identify more source fisheries and assess their health. We require all of our suppliers to avoid fish and seafood ingredients that contain International Union for Conservation of Nature red-listed species, which are endangered, and to avoid illegal, unregulated. and unreported (IUU) seafood. To address human rights issues in our seafood supply chain, Nestlé Purina has also pledged to ban all transshipments at sea, as a step toward eliminating IUU fishing and preventing human rights abuses at sea.

Farm Animal Welfare

Nestlé is committed to ensuring the highest possible levels of farm animal welfare.

The Nestlé Commitment on Farm Animal forms the basis of our responsible sourcing requirements on meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products. These requirements are part of our Responsible Sourcing Guideline (RSG), and we require our suppliers to demonstrate continual progress in meeting them. We work to ensure adherence with our RSG through a process that includes farm-level assessments that cover animal welfare practices. In 2016, we did 107 farm-level assessments of our U.S. dairy, meat, poultry, and egg supply chains. The assessments are carried out by independent audit firm SGS. We continue to trace and assess our supply chains and work with our suppliers on action plans and remedial actions.

We continuously engage with our suppliers, including conversations on farm animal welfare. In 2016, Nestlé held a workshop with one of our major U.S. dairy suppliers, Foremost Farms USA®, and a number of its producers, on managing lameness in dairy herds. We will find further opportunities to work together with our U.S. suppliers and partners to scale up good farm animal welfare practices and to address areas for improvement identified in farm-level assessments.

In 2016, Nestlé USA began implementing our policy to switch to using exclusively cage-free eggs in all our US food products. We are on-track and making progress to achieve our commitment by our target of the end of 2020. In 2017, we committed to higher standards of welfare for broiler chickens by 2024 including transitioning to breeds of chicken recognized as having improved welfare outcomes, reducing stocking density, and other improved standards.