2 March 2019

Declaration of principles on human rights

Complex global supply chains give rise to a number of human rights challenges. As a leading international trade and tourism group, the REWE Group recognises its responsibility within the global flow of goods has therefore pledged to strengthen human rights and prevent human rights violations.


The REWE Group is aware that its long-term success as a business depends on its operational impact being in step with humanity and the environment. The company also understands that human rights due diligence is an ongoing process in its own operations as well as in supply and value chains. It therefore assesses its supply chains continually to identify where particular risks of human rights violations exist. In this process, it draws on evidence from risk and hot-spot analyses specifically compiled for the REWE Group. The corporate group also works alongside external experts to evaluate the impact of its business on human rights. Child and forced labour, income, working hours, discrimination, upholding freedom of association and occupational health and safety have been identified as areas of particular vulnerability.

Our goals

The REWE Group aligns its corporate activities with applicable international standards and guidelines, such as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights or the Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organization on labour and social standards. The REWE Group’s policies and guidelines are based on these standards and on the findings of the group’s own risk and hot-spot analyses. They form the compulsory framework followed by all employees and business partners and establish concrete objectives and measures. These include the Code of Conduct, the Guidelines for Sustainable Business Practices, the Fairness and Sustainability Standards for Suppliers and the guidelines for the REWE Group’s key raw materials, such as cocoa, textiles and fish. In addition, the REWE Group has set the target of ensuring access by 2025 to a grievance mechanism for the relevant supply chains.

Our measures

The REWE Group has put in place an array of measures in order to meet its fair-trade responsibilities. These include employee training, arranging supplier training, conducting audits, implementing in-house (aid) projects and formulating specific requirements for suppliers and service providers. All of the REWE Group’s business partners are obliged to meet minimum requirements, such as applicable national and international laws, as well as the International Labour Organization’s core labour standards. Furthermore, the challenges inherent in complex global supply chains require new approaches that will bring about long-term change across entire sectors. The REWE Group therefore engages with industry initiatives, as well as devising some of its own. The underlying objective is to involve as many supply chain stakeholders as possible and to find common approaches to bring about long-term positive development. The company also works with recognised certification organisations.