CARE International UK's statement
CARE International UK has been a long standing partner of Unilever; in direct implementation of programmes under their human rights and sustainability programme, advisory relationship in terms of approaches and methodologies and a critical friend, to challenge Unilever in its approach and commitments, particular in regards of women and girls. CARE more broadly has a well-earned reputation for having a constructive and progressive approach to working with the private sector and a strong track record, often multi-year corporate partnerships across a range of countries and sectors has helped to create an environment of trust with private sector partners, both current and prospective. As a result we often encounter real willingness to take on board some of the tougher messages that a ‘critical friend’ can deliver, especially when these are accompanied by an offer of support on how to address the problems that may have been identified.
CARE recognises the complexity, sensitivity and severity of the attacks on the Kericho tea plantation, Kenya. This was identified as a risk on due diligence before our most recent partnership with Unilever in 2018, which led to wider and ongoing conversations about how and where CARE is supporting effective community engagement and worker rights and safety on tea plantations. We continue to work with businesses to go beyond ‘do no harm’ and to proactively seek to do good, by embedding principles such as gender equality and sustainable development into their core business models.
Laura Hawkesford, Head of Private Sector Engagement, CARE International UK