U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) released PureCircle shipments which were detained in May 2016 based on inaccurate allegations that they contained stevia from an external supplier that used forced labor. The shipments were released after CBP review of substantial, detailed traceability documentation from PureCircle, including independent, third-party verifications.
In response to questions by CBP, PureCircle provided documentation including:
- Bureau Veritas (independent, 3rd party) Audit Report on Labor Practices & Supply Chain Relationship – China which found:
- No evidence of force, bonded or involuntary prison labor
- Proper procedure of assessing suppliers
- Proper traceability systems in place to trace each batch of extract produced to leaf supplier
- No purchase records from Inner Mongolia Hengzheng Group Baoanzhao Agriculture and Trade LLC
- SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) which found:
- No forced, bonded or involuntary prison labor
- Conformance with regulations regarding Employment Freely Chosen, Child Labor, Regular Employment
- Jiangxi South Law Firm Report (independent, third-party) which found:
- Our product is not being produced by the external supplier in question, Inner Mongolia Hengzheng Group Baoanzhao Agricultural and Trade LLC
- PureCircle Global Labor Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct, which explicitly prohibits the use of forced labor in any part of our business.
We continue to work actively with CBP to correct all inaccurate allegations from others regarding our labor practices. As the stevia industry leader, PureCircle remains committed to human rights and fair use of labor. As we expand our vertically integrated supply chain, we remain committed to traceability and transparency as a critical way we verify compliance with our Global Labor Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct.