Sale of milk powder in developing countries
Lead NCPDenmark
Supporting NCP(s)None Selected
DescriptionSpecific instance notified by a Danish NGO regarding the activities of a multinational enterprise producing in Denmark and selling products in developing countries.
Theme(s)Human rights
Date9 Jul 2014
Host country(ies)Denmark
Industry sectorManufacturing

Read the Danish NCP's statement regarding the conclusion of the specific instance

In July 2014 the Danish NCP received a request for review by a Danish NGO alleging that a Danish company had breached the human rights provisions of the Guidelines by selling milk powder in developing countries including the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. 

The NCP undertook an initial assessment of the specific instance and concluded that it merited further consideration and offered the parties one further opportunity to resolve the matter themselves. As the Danish company was planning to increase its activities in certain African countries, the NGO pinpointed certain negative consequences of exporting subsidised European powdered milk to developing countries, where local dairy sectors primarily consist of small producers and peasant farmers. The NGO expressed in the request a wish for greater awareness by the company of the need to exercise due diligence in order to identify and prevent potential negative impacts.

In December 2014, after the NCP had called on the parties to resolve the matter themselves, the company and the NGO entered into an agreement ensuring the company to among others to exercise due diligence in connection with the sale of powdered milk in developing countries, so as to avoid unintended negative impacts and to comply with the OECD Guidelines. The NCP therefore concluded the specific instance. The final statement can be found on the NCP's website along with the statement issued by the company in question.