Vietnamese cashew farmers are vulnerable to manipulation by middlemen, subcontracting of cashew processing introduces serious sustainability risks and Vietnamese legislation does not sufficiently ensure freedom of association and prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. These are a couple of the findings of a due diligence study on labour practices and sustainability in the cashew nut industry in Vietnam. The study was commissioned by the Ethical Trading Initiative Norway and executed by the Research Center for Employment Relations (ERC). The study fits seamlessly in SNI’s approach to identify and prioritise risks and work on the risks in a structured and transparent manner.

Commissioned by the Ethical Trade Initiative Norway, the Research Center for Employment Relations (ERC) has made a comprehensive assessment of the human rights, labour rights and environmental issues of the cashew nut industry in Vietnam, using the ETI’s Due Diligence Framework. This study aims to set in motion improvements in the sustainability of the cashew supply chains of European brands.

The report describes a sector that has grown at a remarkable speed over the past two decades. Since 2006, Vietnam has become the biggest exporter of cashew kernels in the world. The cashew industry of Vietnam employs over one million people; 200 000 farmer households and workers in over 500 processing companies. The cashew supply chain is highly complex and subcontracting happens frequently. As a consequence the risks of labour abuses is high.

Read to whole due diligence study on labour practices and sustainability.

The risk based approach of ETI fits seamlessly into SNI’s approach that includes a risk assessment, risk mitigation and transparent communication about the risks and risk mitigation measures. This ETI-study will be one of the inputs of the comprehensive SNI risk assessment for cashews in the major cashew producing and processing countries, which will be executed for SNI in 2019.