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24 August 2015

REWE Group invests around 1 million euros in promoting more sustainable banana production


Banana Fund finances ecological and social projects in Costa Rica and Panama

The REWE Group is striving to improve banana production in South and Central America as well as combating the ecological and social issues that surround it. By means of its Banana Fund, set up in 2014, the REWE Group will have funded local projects in Costa Rica and Panama to the tune of over 1 million euros by the end of 2016. Local organisations which require funding for their projects are invited to submit their ideas for evaluation. This process is coordinated by the International Service of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ-IS). Projects that meet the defined criteria are then passed on to a selection and approval committee made up of representatives from Chiquita, Dole, Caritas and the REWE Group. Once funding has been granted, GIZ-IS is also responsible for monitoring implementation of the projects at the local level.

The REWE Group's involvement in sustainable banana production and the financing of local projects in the producing countries goes right back to 2007. The Banana Fund was established with a view to funding supplementary projects in the ecological and social areas. The REWE Group has contributed 600,000 euros to the fund in this year alone. Most of this sum resulted from a campaign conducted in all REWE and PENNY supermarkets in the middle of July. The company then donated the amount necessary to make a round total figure. In this supermarket campaign, the REWE Group pledged to contribute 10 euro cents to the fund for every kilogram of bananas sold. The money will be used in 2016 to fund projects in Costa Rica and Panama aimed at enhancing the sustainability of banana cultivation.

In Changuinola, Panama, for example, 30 hectares of former grazing land in a nature conservation area will be reforested in order to close up forest gaps. This will allow plants to grow without hindrance and offer sanctuary to threatened species of animals. In a further project, a health and feeding centre in Teobroma, Panama, will focus on providing immediate relief to undernourished children and their mothers. It will also educate the local population about healthy nutrition in order to prevent such undernourishment in future. In Gavilán, Costa Rica, there are plans to set up a pipeline to supply drinking water. Up to now, the local population has used well water which is not of sufficient quality for drinking. The planned pipeline system will open up access to sources of clean water located further away.

With modern medical equipment and an enhanced infrastructure, a project in Waldeck, Costa Rica aims to improve the quality of medical care for the local population.

For further information on how the REWE Group is striving to make its range of products even more sustainable, please visit the company's website at http://www.rewe-group.com/en/nachhaltigkeit/gruene-produkte.

The cooperatively organised REWE Group is one of the leading trade and tourism groups in Germany and Europe. In 2014, the company generated a total external turnover of around 51 billion euros. Founded in 1927, REWE Group operates 15,000 stores with 330,000 employees in 12 European countries. In 2014, around 228,000 employees generated turnover totalling 37 billion euros in approximately 10,000 stores in Germany.

The sales lines include REWE, REWE CENTER, REWE CITY and BILLA supermarkets and consumer stores, the discounter PENNY as well toom Baumarkt and B1 Discount Baumarkt DIY stores. There are also the organic supermarkets (TEMMA), innovative convenience stores (REWE To Go), the gastronomic concept "Oh Angie!" and e-commerce activities REWE Lieferservice, Zooroyal or Weinfreunde. Travel and tourism under the umbrella of DER Touristik includes the tour operators ITS, Jahn Reisen and Travelix as well as Dertour, Meier's Weltreisen and ADAC Reisen and the business travel division FCm Travel Solutions and more than 2,100 travel agencies (e.g. DER Reisebüro, DERPART), the hotel chains lti hotels, Club Calimera and PrimaSol Hotels and the direct tour operator clevertours.com.