Unilever & Solidaridad partner to improve 1 million lives
London, Rotterdam & Utrecht – 2 September, 2014 – Today Unilever and Solidaridad announced a new strategic partnership to improve the lives of 1 million people in Unilever’s extended supply chains. This agreement was signed at Unilever’s annual ‘Partner to Win Supplier Summit’ in London.
This builds on Unilever’s and Solidaridad’s long track record in creating sustainable supply chains that already engage more than 150,000 smallholder farmers and workers in India, Mexico and Colombia.
As part of this new partnership agreement, both parties will share the responsibility to raise a mix of public and private grants, credit and investments to finance the smallholder farmer initiatives. Furthermore they share the cost of three full time employees to deliver the joint programme.
Nico Roozen, Executive Director Solidaridad Network said: “We welcome this partnership on sustainable supply chains. Together with Unilever we will engage suppliers and support them to address current and future business challenges. Suppliers need access to resources and to markets. We need to change market conditions to shift sustainable production from niche to norm. Unilever and Solidaridad aim to leverage their resources with those of others to have large scale measurable impact.”
Dhaval Buch, Chief Procurement Officer said: “This partnership helps drive real change across our value chain. We are branching into new areas, which is why it is so important to have the experience and knowledge of an NGO like Solidaridad. This program will also analyse and address gender issues in each project as well as providing access to training on agriculture, finance, health and hygiene and nutrition. These are all contributors to our company wide commitment to enhance livelihoods across our value chain.”
The partnership is also an example of how Unilever’s Responsible Sourcing Policy will be brought to life. The policy, published earlier this year, stems directly from Unilever’s ambition to increase its positive social impact. The Policy breaks new ground by defining a ‘continuous improvement ladder’ to help suppliers move from a base level of “do no harm” to “good practice” and ultimately up to “best practice”. It also now has new areas of coverage such as women’s rights, land rights and enhanced grievance mechanisms.
Solidaridad envisions a world in which everything we produce and consume can sustain us all, while respecting the planet, each other and future generations.
We bring together supply chain actors and engage them in innovative solutions to improve production, ensuring the transition to a sustainable and inclusive economy that maximizes benefits for all.
Solidaridad is an international network organization with ten regional expertise centres that are dedicated to the responsible production of food, textiles, gold and alternatives to fossil fuels.
Solidaridad Press contact
+31 (0) 6296 01233
Unilever Press contact
+31 (0)10 217 4844