Contract performance clauses - ethical requirements

  • Food and beverage products
  • Human Rights


Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Contract Terms

Main Objective: 

The main purpose is to ensure that products are produced under working conditions that respect fuundamental human rights for the workers.  

Requirement Specification: 

Our Suppliers and Contract Partners shall respect basic requirements concerning human rights, labour rights and the environment. Goods supplied to the (enter name of Contracting Authority) shall be produced under conditions that are in accordance with the criteria specified below. These criteria are based on key UN conventions, ILO conventions and the national labour legislation in the country/ies of production. According to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UN GP), companies have an independent responsibility to respect internationally recognised human rights and ILO's core conventions (principle 12). This applies also to procurements by Contracting Authorities (principle 6).

Where a supplier uses sub-suppliers to fulfil this contract, the Supplier shall communicate the requirements within this contract to sub-suppliers and contribute towards ensuring compliance in the supply chain.


(1) Prohibition of child labour (ILO's core conventions 138 and 182)

  • Children under 15 years old (14 or 16 in some countries) shall not carry out any type of work that interferes with or is harmful to, their education and/or development.
  • Children under 18 years old shall not work night shifts or carry out any type of work which endangers their physical or mental health, or safety.
  • Children have the right to be protected from economic exploitation through work.

(2) Prohibition of forced labour (ILO's core conventions 29 and 105)

  • Forced or involuntary labour shall not occur in any form, including as a means of training, penalty or promoting labour discipline.
  • Workers shall not be required to lodge a deposit or surrender identification papers to employers.
  • Employees are free to end their employment after a reasonable period of notice.

(3) Prohibition of discrimination (ILO's core conventions 100 and 111)

  • Employees shall not be discriminated against on the basis of gender, race, skin colour, religion, political opinion, national origin, social status, trade union work or personal circumstances in work situations or in access to employment.
  • The pay shall be equal for equal work.

(4) The right to freedom of association and collective bargaining (ILO’s core conventions 87 and 98)

  • Employees and employers have the right to form or join organisations of their own choosing and engage in collective bargaining and share the contents of collective agreements.
  • All activities in conjunction with representation and collective bargaining shall be allowed to take place without restriction or reprisal.
  • Employers shall in no way hinder arenas for meetings and collective bargaining.
  • Where freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are restricted by national law, employers shall facilitate, and not hinder, alternative mechanisms for free and independent organisation and negotiation.

(5) The Supplier has an obligation to ensure that the production of deliverables regulated by this contract takes place in accordance with the country of production’s national legislation:

The national legislation in the country of production shall be complied with. This includes, but is not limited to, provisions related to: 1) wages and working hours; 2) occupational health and safety; 3) regular employment conditions, including contracts of employment; as well as 4) statutory insurance and social schemes.


(6) Monitoring and verification

Suppliers have an obligation to comply with criteria 1-5 in their own company and in the supply chain.

Failure to meet any of the above criteria is deemed to be a breach of contract. In the event of a breach of contract, the Supplier has an obligation to remedy the breaches by a deadline set by the Contracting Authority, as long as this is not unreasonably short. The remedies shall be documented in writing and in the manner determined by the Contracting Authority. Substantial breaches of contractual obligations may be invoked by the Contracting Authority as a basis for terminating the contract, even if the Supplier rectifies the breach. If the breaches occur in the supply chain, the Contracting Authority can demand that the Supplier replaces the sub-supplier(s). This shall take place at no cost to the Contracting Authority.

If the Supplier becomes aware of conditions that contravene the conditions of this contract, the Supplier shall report this to the Contracting Authority without undue delay.

We, the Supplier, confirm that we have read and understood the above contract terms.

Documentation of the Requirement Specification: 

The Supplier shall document the criteria by Self-assessments and/or follow-up meetings. I addition, the Contracting Authority can conduct inspections of the working conditions.

When asked to do so by the Contracting Authority, the Supplier shall complete a self-assessment form. The Supplier may also enclose report from an independent audit conducted in the last 12 months.

If the Contracting Authority requires self-assessment, the Supplier shall provide this within four weeks from the date it is issued.

The Contracting Authority, or a party authorized by the Contracting Authority, reserves the right to conduct inspections in the supply chain during the contract period. In the event of inspections, the Supplier shall obtain necessary contact information. Contact information will be kept confidential.

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

If the products/components you shall procure involves a risk of breaches on human rights in the supply chain, it shall be considered whether it is proportional to stipulate ethical requirements. In the supply chain of several food and drinks products, for instance coffee, tea, cocoa, tropical fruit and others, there have been shown to be a risk of breaches on basic human rights.

When doing follow-up on the criteria, and using self-assessment and/or follow-up meetings, it is recommended to request information about a few selected products/components. Choose products/components where there is a high risk for breaches on human rights. You can read more about food and drinks products where the production process involves a risk of breaches on fundamental human rights in Difi’s list of high risk products.

After you have received the supplier’s answers on the self-assessment questionnaire, you can use Difi’s risk assessment tool for ethical requirements when considering the answers.

The contract performance clauses are developed by Difi and Ethical Trading Initiative Norway (ETI Norway).

Related links: 

Published: 18. Mar 2019, Last modified: 31. May 2019