Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE)

Report on Supply Chain Compliance 3, no. 23 (December 10, 2020)

In an article[1] published Nov. 24, 2020, reporters for the Associated Press detailed accounts from women working in palm oil fields of their experiences being abused, sexually assaulted and held against their will. Palm oil is a key ingredient in millions of products sold around the world:

“Palm oil is found in everything from potato chips and pills to pet food, and also ends up in the supply chains of some of the biggest names in the [USD 530] billion beauty business, including L’Oréal, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Avon and Johnson & Johnson, helping women around the world feel pampered and beautiful.”

The Nov. 24 report is part of a larger series[2] on the palm oil industry and the latest in a series of investigations into global supply chains, including those into the Southeast Asian seafood industry.[3]

1 Margie Mason and Robin McDowell, “Rape, abuses in palm oil fields linked to top beauty brands,” Associated Press, November 24, 2020,
2 Margie Mason and Roger McDowell, “Palm oil labor abuses linked to world’s top brands, banks,” Associated Press, September 23, 2020,
3 “Seafood from slaves,” Associated Press, last accessed December 3, 2020,

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