Fair production and trade
Fair treatment of producers in the South and in the Swiss mountains and adherence to clear social standards
Fairness – a question of respect
We foster a cooperative relationship based on partnership with our suppliers – because in our view, fairness, respect and transparency are key to our common success and sustainable growth. Thus we put fairness at the core of everything that we do: in the cultivation of raw materials, in processing and in trade.
Fairtrade Max Havelaar
Not only Switzerland’s biggest supplier of Fairtrade products, we are in fact a leading retailer in this area worldwide. Every second Fairtrade product in Switzerland today is sold in one of our stores. And we continue switching to fair trade for whole product ranges that use raw materials from the South. This means that around 650,000 smallholders, workers and producers’ cooperatives are able to benefit from fair prices and stable trade relations.
With our own-label brand for products from the mountains, we are also able to offer our support for the maintenance of a sustainable mountain economy in Switzerland. The raw materials for these products must come from the mountain regions and also be processed there. This secures jobs and gives the region long-term prospects. Part of the revenue from every Pro Montagna product goes to the Coop Mountain Areas Sponsorship Programme, thus furthering the development of the mountain regions.
Minimum standards for all producers
Even with conventionally produced goods, we expect minimum social standards to be met. Our business partners must thus reliably demonstrate that they comply with all relevant conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In high-risk countries, we also require our suppliers to implement the Code of Conduct of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) or other adequate standards. This is laid down in our guidelines for sustainable procurement and in the Coop quality agreement.
Fair clothing and textiles
Our Naturaline own-label brand has been a perfect example of the socially acceptable and environmentally sound production of textiles for 20 years now. The organic cotton used comes mainly from projects of the Biore Foundation for organic farming in India and Tanzania. Every stage of the processing, from cultivation of the organic cotton to the finished garment, meets stringent environmental and social requirements. It is our goal to have the entire Naturaline production chain certified in accordance with the SA8000 social accountability standard. Around half of the main producers of Naturaline clothing are already SA8000-certified; the others are integrated in the BSCI process.