Responsible sourcing is a critical part of our Nourishing Lives mission and business.
With help from several external organizations, General Mills has developed a sustainable sourcing model for ingredients we purchase to make our products.
We are signatories to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and are guided by the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
||In 2011, we joined the World Cocoa Foundation. This 70-member nonprofit group is working to encourage socially, economically and environmentally responsible and sustainable cocoa farming.|
Our Code of Conduct
and Workplace Standard and Ethical Sourcing Policy help our employees understand these issues, and act in accordance with company policies addressing employee health and safety, labor standards, environmental protection, and anti-corruption.
We hold our suppliers to these same principles. Our Supplier Code of Conduct details our expectations of our suppliers in these areas.
Together, our Workplace Standards and Ethical Sourcing Policy and our Supplier Code of Conduct set standards for ourselves, as well as for our suppliers, vendors and other business partners, regarding the protection of human rights. These standards are based in part on the ILO 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
Guided by the 1998 Declaration, General Mills respects the principles of collective bargaining and freedom of association, and prohibition of discrimination, child labor and forced labor – including that associated with human trafficking. A third party auditing program helps ensure – should we find or become aware of violations of our standards – required remediation.
We care about our ingredients and the people who produce them:
In Madagascar, General Mills with Häagen-Dazs recently announced a new program to benefit smallholder vanilla growers in Madagascar. Several hundred farmers are expected to benefit from training and education that will help them produce a more sustainable and higher quality vanilla crop. Farmers will learn how to cure vanilla at the farm level, which adds value to their crop and can significantly increase their income.
In Europe, Häagen-Dazs is working with local suppliers to increase the volume of eggs available from freerange hens. As a result, we now expect to source 100 percent free-range for all Häagen-Dazs products in Europe in 2013, while continuing to support local sourcing and local suppliers.
In Mexico, General Mills and its Green Giant team of agronomists work with broccoli and cauliflower growers to encourage adoption of drip irrigation practices, which can significantly reduce water usage. General Mills is providing interest-free loans to farmers for the purchase of drip irrigation equipment in the Irapauto region, which has accelerated the adoption of drip irrigation. General Mills estimates the result is that 1.1 billion gallons of water are being saved annually.
In China, small farmers in the northeastern village of Yongqing have increased their household income four- to eight-fold by growing corn exclusively for General Mills’ Bugles corn snacks. By contracting directly with General Mills, more than 750 farmer households receive seeds, other inputs, agronomic guidance, and two unique guarantees: a price that’s higher than the market price and a promise to buy their entire crop.
Since the advent of the corn initiative in 2003, signs of the farmers’ new higher standard of living range from new homes and new farm equipment to improved diets and living standards.
We are gratified that our efforts to operate sustainably and ethically have been recognized by several third-party groups, such as the Ethisphere Institute, Corporate Responsibility magazine and Forbes.
We are committed to reinforcing and elevating our standards every day.