What is the National Living Wage 2019

Living wages and incomes

The REWE Group procures a large number of products and product components via supply chains that can extend over several countries. In the supply chain stages of raw material cultivation and processing in particular, there is an increased risk of disregarding labor and social standards such as receiving a living wage and income. They are therefore the focus of REWE Group's activities.

In order to integrate sustainability as an integral part of corporate processes, the REWE Group has developed a comprehensive sustainability strategy with the four central pillars of green products, energy, climate and environment, employees and social commitment. In 2017, the Green Products 2030 strategy was adopted in order to integrate sustainability even more strongly into the procurement processes. As part of the human, animal and environmental fields of action, the trading and tourism company develops effective measures in the green products pillar to reduce ecological and social impacts. The activities on living wages and incomes relate to the human field of activity. The aim of efforts to achieve living wages and incomes is to help improve the wage and income situation in the supplier countries.

A living wage should be sufficient to provide a worker and his family with a decent standard of living - this includes food, water, housing, training / school, health care, transport, clothing and other essential needs including a reserve for unexpected events. In many countries the statutory minimum wages are well below the subsistence level. Since many self-employed such as small farmers do not receive a wage, but earn their income by selling their goods or services, the concept of living income was also introduced. The definition applies here applied to the net annual income.

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Management approach

The REWE Group is committed to ensuring that the products in its range are manufactured in compliance with human rights. All business partners of the REWE Group are contractually obliged to comply with minimum requirements such as internationally and nationally applicable laws as well as the core labor standards of the ILO and to commit to the guideline for sustainable management. It includes, among other things, guidelines on remuneration and fair treatment of employees. For example, regular (at least monthly) payment of the national minimum wages by all companies in the supply chain is required. In the event of willful gross disregard of the values ​​described in the guideline, the REWE Group reserves the right to sanction. The REWE Group also defines its responsibility to strengthen human rights and prevent human rights violations in its basic declaration of human rights.

In the guideline for fairness published at the beginning of 2019, REWE Group is committed to strengthening human rights and improving working conditions within the supply chains of all private label products from REWE, PENNY and toom Baumarkt. In addition to child and forced labor, living wages and incomes are a key issue in the area of ​​human activity. In its guideline for living wages and incomes, REWE Group raises awareness of the importance of living wages and incomes in the supplier countries and shows concrete measures and goals. The guideline defines a binding framework for the REWE Group and business relationships with contractual partners.

The REWE Group has set itself the goal of embedding the realization of living incomes and wages in its global supply chains in its sustainability strategy in the long term.

In order to advocate living wages and incomes along the entire supply chain, REWE Group follows the overarching management approach for responsible supply chains (see section on social aspects in the supply chain).

Training and education programs

Training courses support suppliers and producers in implementing the requirements of the REWE Group and in further continuous improvement. The REWE Group works directly with raw material producers on the challenges in various projects. In cooperation with Fairtrade and four Fairtrade smallholder organizations in Brazil, the REWE Group is committed to improving the incomes and better living and working conditions of smallholder orange producers with training programs. In line with the principle of “helping people to help themselves”, orange farmers learn to operate more efficiently, socially and ecologically.

Cooperation with stakeholders

The REWE Group is in constant contact with a large number of stakeholders and is involved in various national and international initiatives, alliances and forums. Among other things, REWE Group is a member of the Competitive Cashew Initiative, which aims to increase the competitiveness of the cashew value chain in selected African countries. The REWE Group also participates in the Living Wage Advocacy Initiative (LIWIN). The REWE Group wants to enter into a dialogue with other companies, stakeholders and standard organizations in order to campaign for living wages and incomes.

With other German retailers, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), the REWE Group is part of the “German Retail Working Group on Living Income and Wages”. In a first step, the activities of the working group are aimed at global agricultural supply chains for the private label products of the members. A voluntary commitment on this topic has already been drawn up together. By signing the agreement, REWE Group has committed itself to actively participating in the development and implementation of responsible business practices in coordination and cooperation with all relevant actors in its global supply chains.

In addition, with the Fruit Juice CSR Platform, REWE Group finances, among other things, the creation of a benchmark analysis on living wages in orange growing in Brazil. As a member of this European initiative, REWE Group has been committed to social and ecological improvements in the supply chains of the fruit juice industry since June 2016.

Pilot projects

With pilot projects in focus supply chains, REWE Group would like to contribute to the implementation of measures and evaluate the resulting success. The retail company has set itself the goal of testing approaches to ensure living wages and incomes as part of pilot projects up to 2025 and, if successful, scaling them up. The first pilot projects are already being implemented: