In April 2020 Ethical Consumer viewed PZ Cusson's website. Ethical Consumer viewed the company's Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement ( which stated:

Supply chain policy - rudimentary
"Under the Supplier Code of Conduct, our suppliers are expected to commit to all applicable laws and
our Good 4 Business principles, including a ‘zero tolerance’ policy when it comes to unethical
business behaviour such as forced and child labour; prohibitions on the use of slavery or
human trafficking in the supply chain; and freedom of workers to form associations for
collective bargaining."
"We comply fully with legislation relating to the limitation of working hours and minimum
pay in all countries where we operate."

Stakeholder engagment - poor
No information could be found regarding it working with external stakeholders.
"The Group has in place a long-established whistle-blower system (our “Speak Up Policy”) which encourages and enables employees as well as suppliers to raise confidentially (and anonymously if desired) any concerns or issues related to business conduct or activities, including in respect of slavery or human trafficking. This is in operation in all of the countries where the Group operates and is regularly refreshed and promoted."

Auditing and reporting - rudimentary
"A full global audit programme is in operation across all third party manufacturing suppliers. Audits are conducted every 2-3 years, with more regular audits (annual or twice yearly) conducted in respect of any supplier which has given rise to any concerns or in respect of which an action plan has been established. Our preliminary assessment is based upon geography (including an assessment of countries considered to be at higher risk of slavery or human trafficking), the commodity purchased, supplier performance and the nature of the business transaction.
In the past one year, the number of our third party suppliers in our home care and personal care categories who are accredited with the Supplier Ethical Data Exchange (SEDEX) has increased from 50% to 79%.
We terminate relationships with suppliers if issues of non-compliance with our policies are identified and/or non-compliance is not addressed in a timely manner."

Diffiult issues - No mention found.

PZ Cusson's did not appear to have a supply chain policy which covered its suppliers and guaranteed workers' rights based on the ILO six conventions which would be expected of a company this size. No information could be found regarding it working with external stakeholders. Its information on auditing did not articulate disclosure of audit results. There was no mention of a remediation strategy or who paid for the cost of audits. As for difficult issues found in supply chains there was no information provided.
Overall PZ Cusson's received a middle rating for supply chain management.

Reference: (March 2020)

It was reported in the Nigerian Guardian in October 2019 that after a series of failed appeals, communities impacted by the business activities of Wilmar PZ, a multinational company involved in agro palm cultivation in Cross River State, took Wilmar to the State House of Assembly for alleged pollution and land grabbing. The communities particularly accused Wilmar of not respecting any existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it entered into with the communities.
According to several testimonies, some community leaders were invited to the MOU drafting exercise, but were not allowed to be part of the process, thereby disenfranchising them.
“The said MOUs are held in secrecy and yet to be made available to the communities and or public. In fact, the signatories to the purported MoUs are yet to be known to the communities. Based on the aforementioned, transparency and accountability requirements informing the MoUs have been violated,” the communities alleged.
Eight years previously, Wilmar PZ, commenced its operation in Cross River State with its acquisition of existing estates in the state, namely Calaro Oil Palm Estate, Ibiea Palm Plantation, Kwa Falls Oil Palm Estate and the Obasanjo Farms.
The communities alleged: "The drainage channels introduced as embankment by Wilmar PZ has not only caused lot of devastation to crops but has further disrupted and contaminated the streams in the area. Subsistence farmers in these communities have been displaced and denied access and ownership to the land and cultural heritage without compensation. Their rich biodiversity has been altered and the environment degraded particularly with the use of pesticides and chemicals fertilizers”.
The communities made a 4 point demand saying. “Wilmar PZ be made to enter fresh consultation with the community people on how to implement the mandatory CSR law of the state, and that they should be made to halt further expansion into individual, families and communities lands as well as conduct a FPIC-(Free, Prior Informed Consent) before expansion commence. That the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Wilmar PZ be reviewed and the existing MoU and other laws should be enforced and Wilmar made to comply accordingly.
PZ Wilmar denied any land grabbing or exploitation of the people but the House of Assembly has ordered Wilmar PZ to obey the laws of the state or face the music.

In 2015, The Ecologist visited the Nigerian plant and found it to be far from operating like a corporation intent on meeting sustainability goals. It reported "In the village of Ibogo, the local community saw their farmland being excavated just one week before we arrived. They took us to show the land and the destroyed crops. Their stories are heartbreaking, because these people are desperate. Some of them have been cultivating the land for decades, and now their crops - plantains, bananas, cocoa and vegetables - are destroyed they have no way to provide alternative livelihoods."
The Ecologist also found in the nearby village of Betem, the water supply was severely damaged and polluted by PZ Wilmar's operations. The alternative borehole that PZ Wilmar supplied was not functioning and the company had not dropped by to repair it. Even for the brief spell where it worked, the water quality was poor, a thick brown liquid that was a major source of illness in the community.
Down the road, the leader of the village of Idoma, Chief Steven Omari complained: "As a consequence of the Wilmar project, our forest has been seriously degraded. Our timber has been destroyed and they have yet to compensate us. People who were farming in that area lost their land and they have yet to be compensated."
PZ Wilmar was reported to have provided jobs to some in the community, but these were "volatile, contract-free positions as day labourers - a far cry from the work of operating small-scale farms of their own. With no occupational training offered, it is difficult to see a way out for many."

The company lost a mark under the Habitats and Resources, Pollution and Toxics and Human Rights categories.


Cross River Assembly reads riot act to multinationals (10 October 2019)

According to PZ Cusson's Annual Report 2019, viewed by Ethical Consumer in April 2020, the company owned subsidiaries in the following countries included on Ethical Consumer's list of oppressive regimes at the time of writing: China and Nigeria.


Annual Report 2019 (12 March 2020)