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March 25, 2014 / Bacardi Cuba

Bacardi Limited – How a Global Business Manages Responsible Sourcing

Founded in Santiago de Cuba in 1862, Bacardi has grown into the largest privately held spirits company in the world. As a natural outcome of that growth, today Bacardi does business in all quarters of the world to obtain the many ingredients and packaging materials for its products. Working with such a diversity of suppliers, however, sometimes poses serious challenges regarding workplace standards, sustainability, or good governance. With so many links in its very complex supply chains, responsible sourcing has become a main pillar of Bacardi corporate responsibility.

Bacardi’s ultimate goal is to ingrain responsible sourcing within procurement processes across the entire span of the global company. To accomplish this, it takes a two-prong approach: verification via the Sedex database of ethical suppliers, and an in-house verification process.

A cornerstone of the Bacardi Responsible Sourcing program is its membership in Sedex, an online database allowing suppliers to provide their ethical performance standards and metrics to buyers. This sharing of data promotes transparency throughout industrial supply chains, and is the reason Bacardi encourages its suppliers to join Sedex. By the end of fiscal 2012, Bacardi had 257 supplier sites registered with Sedex, and aims to increase this number by 20 percent in 2013.

Certain suppliers, however, may be unable to join Sedex for a number of reasons, including size or alternative compliance methods. For this reason, Bacardi also utilizes its own direct Vendor Qualification Process (VQP). This consists of a self-assessment provided by the supplier, and subsequent collaboration with Bacardi purchasing managers to ensure that supplier practices align with Bacardi’s own responsible sourcing standards.

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