Ethical principles and code of conduct


The Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct has been drawn up aimed at structuring the basic principles and undertakings with which the Group wishes to ensure compliance throughout its entities by all employees, irrespective of their business lines and countries.

In this context, the Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct set out the various rules and regulations in force with which Limagrain employees must comply, whilst encouraging them to adopt an individual culture of questioning.

Structuring Limagrain's business ethics was an approach driven by the Group’s executive management in 2013, in the context of its program of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Business ethics covers both the individual behavior of Limagrain employees and the collective behavior upheld by the company. The areas targeted by ethics are extremely wide and varied; they range from fighting corruption to protecting the environment and respecting human rights.

The Limagrain Code of Conduct was launched on March 30, 2015, in eleven languages. It is a means for all employees to speak a common language, wherever they go within the Group, sharing the same principles of governance and ethics.

The goal is to ensure that every employee in the world knows about the Code of Conduct and its purpose, understands its content and is able to use it if needed.

Compliance with Human Rights

Portrait Afrique ©Bouchet

These Ethical Principles and this Code of Conduct are part of the scope of several international texts of which Limagrain shares the principles:

  • the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
  • the core conventions of the International Labor Organization, in particular conventions 29, 105, 138 and 182 (child labor and forced labor), 155 (health and safety of workers), 111 (combating discrimination), 100 (remuneration), 87 and 98 (freedom of association, right to organize and the right to collective bargaining);
  • United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • the OECD guidelines intended for multinational companies;
  • the transposition into French law of the European directive of October 22, 2014, called “CSR”

Limagrain has been a signatory of the United Nations Global Compact since December 2013. It undertakes to promote and comply with the main principles of Human Rights within its teams throughout the Group and within its sphere of influence, as well is ensuring it is not complicit in any violations.

Respecting Children’s Rights

Limagrain is aware that child labor in certain geographical areas in India is a reality. This fact is unacceptable. In collaboration with local stakeholders (authorities, NGOs, etc.), we have been fighting relentlessly to eradicate child labor. Ever since Limagrain has had a subsidiary in India, we have made the fight against any use of child labor by our subcontractors a priority. Even though child labor is clearly prohibited in the Group’s Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, actions are undertaken daily to go a step further.

Since 2012 and the beginning of its vegetable seeds activities, HM.CLAUSE India has increased the number of measures using a continuous progress approach. As part of its specific CSR program, our subsidiary has deployed a complete procedure that aims to abolish child labor in India, called “Child Labor Awareness Program” (CLAP), based on several pillars.

At all of our Limagrain sites, we guarantee that there is no child labor. No child works at any of our organizations located in India.

Rigorous actions to monitor our subcontractor growers are regularly conducted, and focus on 3 areas: 

  • A clause in the contract prohibiting the use of child labor
  • Awareness programs and audits: 100% of the growers we monitor directly have had awareness training over the last 2 years and are audited by our Social Program Managers and our 27 production supervisors. An external audit company further strengthens our local teams by conducting additional audits for more precise follow-up.
  • Sanctions are imposed on subcontractors that do not comply with their commitments, and may even lead to the loss of the seed production contract.