We rely on the people involved in our production chains and we support and promote their interests.
The comprehensive nature of our product range means that our supply chains are highly complex, spanning multiple countries and production stages. Taking all product lines into account, we currently work with approximately 350 suppliers (first-tier) that are based primarily in Southeast Asia. The prerequisites and criteria for these partnerships vary, depending on the business area.
While we often maintain long-term partnerships with our textile suppliers, the supply chains in the non-food sector tend to be much more variable on account of product and production specifications. In the food sector, on the other hand, factors such as regionality and seasonality or weather-related fluctuations in harvests play an important role.
We take all these factors into account in our risk analysis, which is used to develop approaches to minimising risk within our sphere of influence. As part of our due diligence approach, we record, analyse and assess the potential risks in our supply chains at regular intervals.
These risks depend on the sourcing countries, the products, our business model and international standards. The latter include, for example, the international human rights conventions, the ILO fundamental labour conventions, the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
In the context of this risk analysis, we focus on potentially vulnerable groups, such as women, ethnic minorities, migrants, indigenous minorities, children and homeworkers. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that no harm comes to these groups. That is why we maintain regular contact with vulnerable groups through our social monitoring system. We do this by means of factory visits, corrective measures, training and our grievance mechanism.