Mondelēz Releases 2021 Human Rights Due Diligence, Modern Slavery Report 


Chicago — Mondelēz International, Inc. has released its annual Human Rights Due Diligence and Modern Slavery report for 2021, demonstrating progress against its 2025 ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) goals. 

The report is part of the company’s ongoing evaluation and review of best practices in enhancing its approach to respecting human rights and confirms progress made toward the company’s goals to prevent, identify and address potential human rights and modern slavery risks in its own operations and supply chains.

Through its 10-year old signature cocoa sourcing program Cocoa Life, Mondelēz has partnered with almost 210,000 farmers in more than 2,500 communities and has invested over $400 million to support farmers’ livelihoods.

In 2021, Mondelēz International more than doubled its progress towards its goal to establish Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation Systems (CLMRS) in all its Cocoa Life communities in West Africa by 2025. The program expanded coverage to 1,548 communities, reaching 61 percent coverage in West Africa.

The company is also investing approximately $3 million towards improving children’s access to quality education in cocoa-growing regions. 

According to the company, lack of access to schooling is a key root cause of child labor, which can only be addressed systemically. As a result, Mondelēz International is also investing in two initiatives focused on improving access to education: The Child Learning and Education Facility (CLEF) as well as the Early Learning and Nutrition (ELAN) initiative, led by the Jacobs Foundation. The goal of these investments is to improve access to and quality of education for five million children, reaching 90 percent of rural primary schools in Côte d’Ivoire, through the construction of 2,500 classrooms and proven interventions to improve teaching quality.

Along with its progress in supporting human rights across the cocoa supply chain, the 2021 report demonstrates the company’s progress in promoting human rights practices in the sourcing of additional commodities such as palm oil and hazelnuts. 

In 2021, Mondelēz International joined IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative) Living Wage Roadmap to help advance living wages in global supply chains and confirmed a continued commitment to pay its employees a living wage. 

This builds upon the company’s long-standing focus on promoting human rights with the introduction of a dedicated Human Rights Policy aligned with the United Nations Human Rights Guiding Principles.

“Through our flagship ingredient sourcing program Cocoa Life, we are learning from our decade of experience on the ground in cocoa communities about the importance of living income,” says Laura Stein, executive vice-president for corporate & legal affairs and general counsel, Mondelēz International. “Building on our ongoing focus on promoting human rights, we joined the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) Living Wage roadmap to help advance living wage and income in global supply chains. We will also work with our suppliers with the goal of having all our strategic suppliers engaged on a living wage roadmap by 2030.”

The company also supports legislative efforts aimed at enabling practical, proactive, ongoing human rights due diligence, and generally welcomes the EU Commission’s proposed Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence directive, which will require companies to identify and address human rights and environmental risks in their value chain.

“It’s very significant that Mondelēz International was prepared to stick their head above the parapet and say: ‘actually, we need human rights due diligence to become mandatory, so that we can level the playing field and all businesses start upholding human rights standards in their supply chain,’” says Dr. Aidan McQuade, human rights expert and author of Ethical Leadership: Moral Decision-Making Under Pressure.