doTERRA Launches Independent Investigation in Response to Media Allegations
doTERRA works diligently to ensure its global supply network abides by its Supplier Code of Conduct, which aligns with the International Labour Organization’s standards for fair labor practices. The company measures performance and compliance of key suppliers through questionnaires, regular site visits and a comprehensive supplier evaluation program.
When dōTERRA learned of media allegations—suggesting that certain aspects of the company’s third-party supply chain in Somaliland may have developed substandard working conditions and that several years ago agents of its Somaliland-based supplier may have sexually assaulted women—dōTERRA suspended its operations and commenced an investigation into the allegations. The company is fully committed to establishing the facts behind the allegations and will take appropriate action based on the results of the investigation.
The due diligence that has transpired to date has not uncovered anything of substantial concern, although some areas of improvement have been noted and are being addressed. We have greatly appreciated those in Somaliland that have assisted with our investigation. We have, however, been disappointed that on-the-ground investigations have not yet been completed due to interference from certain clan and political officials as well as regional violence which has led to safety concerns for our employees. These issues have prevented the company and third-party investigators from fully accessing the area and finalizing our investigation into some of the more serious allegations.
Due to the myriad of challenges and complexity of investigating such serious matters in Somaliland, the company has appointed Sara George, a Partner at the law firm Sidley Austin, LLP to lead the next phase of the investigation. Ms. George is an expert in international criminal and human rights investigations, with a focus on handling women’s issues and advocating for women’s rights. She was the Chair of the Somali Integration Team, which works with Somali refugee women in the United Kingdom and has undergone advanced training in the handling of vulnerable witnesses.
Sidley Austin will also review and advise dōTERRA and its supplier on their plans regarding workplace training based on international labor standards that include fair working conditions, sustainable harvesting practices, equitable and fair treatment of workers and tackling sexual harassment in the workplace. A hotline has been established and will soon be operational for workers to receive support, leave feedback, and lodge concerns and complaints.
dōTERRA first purchased frankincense from Somaliland in 2014 and has since supported thousands of workers through its Co-Impact Sourcing efforts. The company is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of farmers, harvesters and resin sorters within its frankincense supply chain.
As part of this effort, the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation has funded and supports the Sanaag Specialty Hospital in 2021 to bring healthcare services to the 600,000 people in this remote region. The hospital provides critical maternal and newborn care, general and specialized surgeries and treatments of infections and injuries, including some who have been wounded in the conflict in Las Anod. The company remains committed to positively supporting the lives of so many wonderful people throughout our Co-Impact Sourcing efforts and continuing to provide life-saving medical aid to the people of Somaliland.