Sustainability

1 December 2021

Guideline on fairness

Reading time: 4 min.

All humans deserve a dignified life – including good working conditions – but this cannot be taken for granted in many counties, including places where the REWE Group sources raw materials for its products. The company is therefore pledging to make its supply chains fairer by respecting and reinforcing human rights, improving working conditions and promoting fair trade.

Background

Human rights violations are a recurring issue in global supply chains. These violations include child labour, forced labour, the lack of workplace safety standards or not providing a living income. In view of these issues, the REWE group has carried out a risk assessment on its own supply chains. There are greater risks of human rights violations in the cultivation of raw materials such as coffee, cocoa, tea, palm oil, fish, fruit and vegetables and cotton and at production sites for textiles and natural stone in high-risk countries. The REWE Group therefore has a responsibility to carry out due diligence in respect of human rights.

Our goals

The REWE Group has set targets to make its supply chains fairer, achieving three of them in 2020: The REWE Group has incorporated all production sites in high-risk countries into a social improvement programme, developed a children’s rights policy and carried out a forced labour risk analysis. By 2025, a grievance mechanism for the relevant supply chains will be established, and all strategic suppliers and production facilities will participate in a capacity building training programme by 2030. In consultation with businesses and stakeholders, the REWE Group wants to promote a living income and to certify 100 percent of its key raw materials. These aims have been achieved for fish, coffee, cocoa, palm oil, fruit and vegetables and tea, with cotton, textiles and orange juice set to join them by 2025. The certification process for natural stone is being rolled out on an ongoing basis.

Our measures

The REWE Group’s objectives are underpinned by measures in three areas. For every purchasing decision, internal managers ensure that due consideration is given to human rights. This entails creating risk assessments, briefings and reports, agreeing on compulsory targets with the sales departments, training employees and communicating the REWE Group’s commitment to external stakeholders. As part of its supply chain management, the REWE Group’s partners are required to comply with applicable human rights laws, guidelines and contracts. Audits and certifications ensure that this is appropriately monitored. Courses and training are arranged to support the business partners involved. In respect of stakeholder management, the REWE Group is in constant dialogue with internal and external stakeholders about relevant human rights issues. The company is also involved in national and international initiatives, including amfori BSCI, the Rainforest Alliance and the World Banana Forum.

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