From field to store: information on the origin of raw materials and how they were processed.

Transparency and traceability in the value chain

Today more than ever, consumers want to know where products come from and how, by whom and under what conditions they were produced. The requirements of the Swiss act on declaration of origin, traceability and up-to-date information in online trading are also regularly tightened up. With detailed knowledge of the individual steps in the product chain, we are better able to identify and effectively tackle critical points.

Transparent product chains, taking due account of people, animals and the environment, feature prominently as one of eight main projects involved in our multi-annual sustainability targets.

For us, this specifically means:

    • Traceability and transparency are guaranteed for all own label brands, to at least the final value-adding processing level.
    • All critical raw materials that we use, such as soya and palm oil, satisfy exacting standards in regard to sustainability, and we know their origin.
    • Animal welfare standards are complied with across our entire meat, milk and egg range.

In 2013, we held our stakeholder forum on the subject of transparency in the product chain. During the forum, it became clear that our stakeholders feel that retail must take responsibility along the entire product chain, but that the specific expectations can vary greatly depending on the stakeholder group and product range involved. We are examining these expectations in great detail, in a wide-ranging project on transparency in the product chain.

Since 2016 we, along with other large Swiss companies, have been involved in a research project by the University of St. Gallen in the area of upstream supplier management. The aim of the project is to evaluate the current approaches of the participating companies and, building on this, develop efficient processes for straightforward upstream supplier management.

In a pilot project, we have surveyed the product chain for the critical raw materials palm oil and cotton. The pilot projects were undertaken together with IT providers Achilles and SIM (Supply Chain Information Management). As a next step, we will be using the information to implement targeted improvement measures at selected levels of the product chain.

Principles and topics