Cologne. To support German agriculture, the REWE Group believes in long-term collaborative partnerships providing a high degree of certainty and security to farmers with cooperative agreements in respect of order volumes, marketing and pricing. One of the key tools in this support is ‘REWE Local Partnerships’. The scheme was launched in January 2020 and showcased at the International Green Week exhibition in Berlin. It provides a binding code of conduct for the direct contractual relationships between REWE and agricultural producers in Germany and includes the services of an independent ombudsman.
“Through our ‘REWE Local Partnerships’, we are supporting and promoting the protection and safeguarding of regional and local producers, especially in the fruit and vegetable, dairy, meat and sausage sectors. In particular, independent retailers under the REWE umbrella have direct contractual relationships with farmers and producers, amounting to several thousand local partnerships. Having enjoyed success with the scheme since the start of the year, REWE is planning a targeted expansion of its Local Partnerships in order to boost German agriculture,” explained Hans-Jürgen Moog, the REWE Group’s Executive Board Member for merchandising.
“The partnerships have established a framework to enable local SMEs in particular to sell their produce directly through REWE stores, in a quick, straightforward manner that is tailored to their needs and even allows the sale of small volumes. This not only promotes regional economies and provides local producers with an additional distribution channel, but also supports our aim of creating sustainable added value, whether through short supply routes, generating value in rural areas or improving animal welfare or conservation,” said Peter Maly, the REWE Group’s Executive Board Member for sales and marketing.
The REWE ‘Local Partnership’ (rewe.de/regional) covers four different areas with an important impact on our day-to-day working relationships with local stakeholders – from the formulation of supply relationships and the payment of suppliers to the collaborative marketing and implementation of joint projects for animal welfare or environmental protection. It makes it easier for regional and domestic producers and suppliers to sell their products directly through our stores, in a simple, straightforward and tailored manner without the need for intermediaries.
In addition, the REWE Group has appointed lawyer Andreas von Máriássy to the role of external ombudsman. Those involved at the local level can contact him if they have any concerns or problems. He is also the cooperative’s compliance officer (https://www.rewe-group.com/de/unternehmen/compliance). One of his responsibilities is to examine any information that he receives and to determine the further course of action to be taken with the REWE Group. If necessary, the ombudsman will protect the identity of whistle-blowers who use the free ombudsman service.