Bayer CropScience, India (Building and Sustaining a Responsible Supply Chain)


The case is about Bayer, a multinational firm that finds itself facing stiff accusations in India and its home turf Germany when the acquisition of Indian seeds business leads it inadvertently to having the worst forms of child labour in its hybrid cotton seed production supply chain. A company with a strong brand identity and a clear human rights position that bans child labour in its own operations and does not tolerate it anywhere in its supply chain chooses to tackle the situation when exiting the business would have made a more convenient business decision. It designs a multifaceted programme the Bayer CropScience Child Care Programme with top level management commitment, a dedicated team and an independent budget. After striving for almost a decade with its implementation, the company achieves a practically zero child labour existent supply chain and a reputation of having turned around a difficult situation. The company now aspires to transform its successful Child Care Programme into a vehicle for delivering innovative solutions aimed at strengthening the rural economy and bringing about a socio-cultural change.

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