As a trade and tourism company, the REWE Group obtains its products and services from a wide variety of suppliers and from many different supply chains. The supply chain links of raw materials production and processing involve a heightened risk of non-observance of labour and social standards and also of negative environmental effects. They are the focus of the REWE Group’s activities.
The company has intensely concentrated on these supply chains, both as a strategic question and in terms of individual raw materials. As a way of transparently showing how the supply chains used by the trade group look in detail, the REWE Group has described six supply chains that are particularly relevant to this Sustainability Report in the form of an interactive supply chain. These supply chains cover the entire process – from cultivation to transport and store – and identify where the greatest risks are found and where the high-impact potential of the REWE Group lies.
Selected supply chains of the REWE Group
The REWE Group strives to reduce the environmental and social impacts of its business operations wherever possible – including in its wide range of supply chains. In this process, the REWE Group evaluates social and environmental risks in the value chains of its store brands (for more information, see the section Implementation).
At the end of 2019, the REWE Group committed itself to binding conditions that create fair conditions along global supply chains. But it also noted that a national supply chain law would be insufficient for this purpose. Instead, it said international legal regulations would be the only way to effectively address the issue and include all actors of value chains under a compulsory set of rules. The trade company firmly believes that human rights are a non-negotiable issue.
In 2021, the coronavirus pandemic created new challenges for the actors in various supply chains. In its role as food provider, the REWE Group is part of the “critical infrastructure”. In a continuous dialogue with its suppliers and business partners along supply chains, the REWE Group succeeded during the pandemic, a period that posed serious challenges for planning management, in keeping food supplies flowing to customers and protecting the health of its employees by applying a multifaceted infection-prevention programme.
In its Declaration of principles on human rights, the REWE Group has pledged to strengthen human rights in both its own business activities and in global supply chains as well as to prevent human-rights violations. As a way of enforcing environmental and social standards particularly in farming and processing, the REWE Group uses certified raw materials in its store brands. The company’s Guidelines for Raw Materials also include a binding framework that governs business relationships with contract partners in supply chains.
The REWE Group discusses its fundamental approaches, measures and goals in particular in the sections Social Aspects in the Supply Chain and Environmental Aspects in the Supply Chain.
In 2021, the REWE Group worked intensively to implement the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains, a law that takes effect on 01/01/2023. The company also conducted detailed gap analysis to identify the company’s strategic and operational shortcomings (for more information, see the section Social Aspects in the Supply Chain).
In 2018, the REWE Group conducted a risk analysis of the product groups and raw materials used in the supply chains of the store-brand products sold in Germany by REWE and PENNY (see the section Product-Related Risk Analysis). This review enabled the company to identify particularly high-risk product groups and focus raw materials in terms of their impact on the value chain. The analysis found that fruit and vegetables in general and bananas; pineapples; meat; dairy products, including feed for animals like soy; coffee; tea; palm oil; fish; orange juice; textiles; and natural stones in particular had the highest environmental and social impacts (for more information about raw materials, see Raw Materials in Focus – Food and Raw Materials in Focus– Non-Food).
The following sections provide background information about the REWE Group’s commitment to sustainability in its supply chains: