21.12.2022 • Sustainability
Bielefeld, December 2022 – From January 1, 2023, the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act will apply in Germany to companies with at least 3,000 employees. The act is intended to help counteract existing and future human rights violations or to prevent them directly in advance. As part of the Oetker Group, Dr. August Oetker Nahrungsmittel KG will implement the act with a comprehensive package of measures.
Implementation at Dr. Oetker extensively prepared
In recent years, Dr. Oetker has already intensively dealt with human rights and environmental due diligence requirements in the supply chain. Which is why we buy critical raw materials such as cocoa or palm oil almost exclusively with certification. The company is now implementing the requirements of the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act Group-wide, both for those directly employed and for the entire supply chain. Accordingly, a risk management system has been established that covers all relevant business processes in order to fulfill the due diligence obligations defined within the Act.
Human Rights Officer reports to Human Rights Committee
Human rights officers have also been appointed for individual divisional companies of the Oet-ker Group. These are members of the Group-wide Human Rights Committee and are therefore responsible for compliance with the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act. At Dr. August Oetker Nahrungsmittel KG and across the Oetker Group, this role is being assumed by Dr. Judith Güthoff, Senior Executive Manager Sustainability & Compliance.
She collects and bundles all the facts and information required for the report from her area of responsibility and presents them to the Human Rights Committee. She is also the first point of contact for the Human Rights Coordinators and Human Rights Managers, who are responsible for monitoring compliance with due diligence requirements in their own business sectors and at suppliers.
Code of Conduct for Suppliers and Employees
In addition, in accordance with the law, the Oetker Group will publish a policy statement on its human rights strategy, formulating human rights and environmental expectations of our employees and suppliers. Furthermore, an updated Supplier Code of Conduct has applied to suppliers of all Group companies since October 2022. It describes and specifies binding criteria for our suppliers, including those relating to human rights, labor rights, environmental protection and compliance with the law, and is published in numerous languages on our corporate website.
In addition, the company has a complaints procedure, where both internal and external human rights violations or indications of potential risks can be reported. These are then immediately investigated.
"It is important to us to implement the Supply Chain Due Diligence Act in the best possible way and thus counter human rights violations in the company and in supply chains. We have therefore intensively prepared the implementation and feel well positioned for 2023,” says
Dr. Judith Güthoff, Senior Executive Manager Sustainability & Compliance and Human Rights Officer at Dr. August Oetker Nahrungsmittel KG and Dr. Oetker KG.
Dr. Oetker will implement the following from January 1, 2023:
Responding to human rights risks in the company and throughout the supply chain
The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act requires large companies in particular to analyze and track the risks of human rights violations within their own company as well as along the upstream supply chains. Those who identify a risk or a violation must implement measures against it; the entire process must be reported on annually. The aim of the act is to ensure a fair and sustainable global economy and to promote responsible corporate governance.
Work is also underway on such a directive throughout the EU: With the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, the EU wants to ensure that companies around the world respect applicable human rights and environmental protection standards throughout their value chains - from the cultivation of raw materials to the finished product in the supermarket - and contribute to combating climate change. A draft directive from the European Commission is currently before the European Council and Parliament; adoption in plenary session is expected in May 2023.