Declaration of Principles on Human Rights
Respect and a sense of responsibility towards consumers, employees and business partners characterise Storck's corporate philosophy. Sincerity, integrity and fairness have guided our corporate actions for more than 100 years.
Storck products are made by people for people – people are therefore at the center of everything we do. Storck respects the dignity and personality of individuals, their rights and their need to look after their own interests.
Storck is also aware that, as part of society, it has a role to play in shaping it and gears its corporate activities with this responsibility towards society as a whole.
The following internationally recognised standards and conventions serve as guidelines in this respect:
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) ‒ The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by the United Nations in 1948, is the first document to advocate the rights and freedoms of all people, regardless of nationality, place of residence, gender, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language or other status. The UDHR consists of a total of 30 articles on freedoms (civil and political rights) and social rights (economic, social and cultural rights). The most important freedoms include the prohibition of discrimination, the right to life, the prohibition of torture and slavery, freedom of expression and religion and the right to a fair trial. Social rights include the right to work and fair working conditions, the right to join trade unions, the right to social security, protection of family, motherhood and children, the right to an adequate standard of living, and the right to education and participation in cultural life. Although the UDHR is not legally binding, it has positively influenced legal, political and social developments at global level and is considered the foundation of international human rights protection.the The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) ‒ The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) was adopted in 1966 and has been officially valid since 1976. In conjunction with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), it is one of the first two binding human rights treaties under international law. Accordingly, the contracting states undertake to respect and guarantee the rights of protection and freedom described in the ICCPR to all persons under their jurisdiction without any discrimination. The Covenant thus guarantees fundamental human rights such as the right to life and physical integrity, protection against torture, slavery and arbitrariness on the part of a state, gender equality and the rights to freedom of religion, expression, assembly and association. The Covenant also contains provisions on the protection of minorities. Compliance with the ICCPR is monitored by the UN Human Rights Committee. In conjunction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights forms the International Bill of Human Rights.and the The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESR) ‒ The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) was adopted with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1966 and entered into force in 1976. It is legally binding for all contracting states. In conjunction with the ICCPR, it covers all human rights listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The ICESCR defines human rights in the economic, social and cultural spheres. It describes, inter alia, the right to work, education and health, the right to an adequate standard of living as well as the right to social security and participation in cultural life. Compliance with the Covenant is monitored by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In conjunction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR, the ICESCR forms the International Bill of Human Rights.
The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) ‒ The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) were adopted by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011. They constitute the first global standard for preventing and remedying human rights violations in the context of business activities by companies. They refer to the International Bill of Human Rights as well as the core labour standards of the ILO (International Labour Organization). The UNGPs comprise of three pillars with a total of 31 principles. They define both the duty of the state to protect human rights and the companies’ responsibility to respect human rights. In addition, victims of human rights violations should have access to a complaints procedure and effective legal remedies. They thus form an important basis for putting in place due diligence in respect of human rights in companies. The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (UNCEDAW) ‒ The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (UNCEDAW) is an international agreement adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 and which entered into force in 1981. Signing the Convention obliges the contracting states to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in all areas, and promote equal rights. In a total of 30 articles, the Convention sets standards to combat discrimination of women in the cultural, social, educational, political and legislative spheres. An additional protocol was adopted in 1999. This gives women the right to file an individual complaint in the event of violations of the Convention. Furthermore, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women that monitors the implementation of the Convention, can initiate an inquiry procedure on its own initiative, if it has information about serious or systematic violations by a contracting state. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) ‒ The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the UN General Assembly in November 1989 and entered into force in September 1990. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is an international human rights treaty and is therefore binding for all contracting states. In a total of 54 articles, it lays down the obligations to respect, protect and guarantee children’s rights. The four basic principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are the prohibition of discrimination, the right to life and development, the primacy of the best interests of the child and the right to participation. The Convention defines children as persons under the age of 18 unless the applicable national law provides that the age of majority is reached earlier. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, made up of 18 independent experts, is responsible for monitoring implementation by Member States. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is currently the most frequently signed international human rights treaty.
We also apply the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). This applies, in particular, to the following areas of regulation:
The prevention of child labour is specifically covered by the ILO Conventions on the
To prevent slavery and forced labour, we expect compliance with the ILO Conventions on the
With regard to harassment and discrimination, the ILO Conventions on
To protect freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, we require compliance with the ILO Conventions on
As an international company with complex supply chains, we are aware that our activities are, at all times, associated with the potential risk of human rights and environmental standards being endangered or even violated within the supply chain.
Our goal is to identify such risks at an early stage and minimise them, prevent violations or be able to respond to them appropriately. To this end, we have taken a variety of measures for effective risk management.
In a company of Storck’s size and scope, pursuing and achieving the above-mentioned goals can only be done collectively. The members of the Executive Board are therefore responsible for implementing in their respective business units the standards set out in our Management Manual. They delegate responsibilities to an appropriate extent to the respective managing directors/general managers as well as division heads and monitor the fulfillment of duties. In addition, a human rights officer has been appointed as a central and overarching authority, who monitors risk management throughout the company, ensures compliance with duties and objectives, and reports to the management at least annually and on an ad hoc basis.
The purchasing department plays a special role in minimising risks pertaining to environment and human rights in our supply chain. It is responsible for selecting suppliers, shaping business relationships and monitoring compliance with human rights and environmental standards at our direct suppliers. For this reason, we have additionally appointed a procurement risk management officer.
If violations occur despite our preventive measures, the responsible bodies can only take action, if they learn about them. We have set up a digital reporting system through which information on violations of human rights or environmental obligations can be communicated in an uncomplicated and risk-free manner. The reporting system is open to our employees, suppliers and their employees, as well as to all third parties who become aware of such a violation in our own business or in our supply chain, or who have a reasonable suspicion of such a violation. Reports are treated confidentially and can also be made anonymously. The system can be accessed through the following website: storck.integrityline.com.
Reporting persons can use this channel to contact our impartial complaints officers who are bound to secrecy. They will discuss the facts of the case with the reporting persons and internally take appropriate measures together with those responsible.
A more detailed explanation of the procedure can be found in the Rules of Procedure.
Our own business division comprises all activities of August Storck KG as the parent company of the Storck Group as well as all subsidiaries and associated companies worldwide.
Storck manufactures its confectionery exclusively at three production plants in Germany. These have been certified in accordance with the internationally recognised Social Accountability 8000 (SA8000) Standard since 2011. This applies to the manufacturing areas, the administration and, in particular, the purchasing department, which holds central responsibility for all resource procurement. Storck also aims to achieve such certification for the independent subsidiary Helmut Löser GmbH & Co KG Waffelfabrik.
A company that is assessed and certified according to SA8000 demonstrates a socially responsible management system in which the rights of workers, their workplace conditions and fundamental human rights are taken into account in the company’s business activities.
The basis of the SA8000 commitment and certification is the Storck Code of Conduct, which sets out all relevant human rights obligations for all companies in the Storck Group.
The Storck Code of Conduct therefore is also binding for our foreign sales companies. We monitor compliance with these obligations through our own audits.
The Storck Code of Conduct also applies to the activities of our subsidiaries and associated companies abroad that are involved in upstream production stages and are active in hazelnut cultivation in Chile, cocoa cultivation in the Dominican Republic and cocoa processing in Ecuador. We check compliance with the requirements through our own audits based on the SA8000 criteria. We also seek external verification through the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) or alternative verification to ensure that risks can be identified and eliminated. Sedex (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) is a membership organisation for ethical trade. SMETA enables verification of activities with regard to responsible and ethical business practices based on the Ethical Trading Initiative Base Code and locally applicable laws.
Storck communicates the rules and expectations for respecting human rights to its employees and supports this through training.
The analysis of risks in the case of our direct suppliers and the structuring of business relationships with them are of essential importance for compliance with human rights and environmental due diligence obligations.
In our relationships with our direct suppliers, we strive for long-term cooperation based on partnership. We see long-term partnerships as a cornerstone of sustainable business. They provide in-depth knowledge of the partner’s business activities and form a basis of trust, especially with regard to human rights and environmental risks.
In addition, we systematically obtain an overview of potential risks in the case of our suppliers. To this end, we regularly conduct risk analyses. We use the Sedex risk assessment tool. Sedex provides a data platform through which suppliers can share information about their social and ethical standards. It also enables risk assessment without involving our business partners.
Sedex also draws on a variety of publicly available and reliable sources for risk assessment. It enables assessment in relation to specific environmental and human rights risks, including human rights risks as defined by the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations for the Prevention of Human Rights Violations in Supply Chains (Supply Chain Act).
Furthermore, suppliers with particular strategic relevance are individually screened and assessed. In addition to the general criteria relevant to the industry and the location, this makes it possible to obtain specific, in-depth information related to the respective supplier, and take it into account in the risk analysis. Moreover, the purchasing department, in conjunction with sustainability management, checks the Sedex risk assessment to see whether the data sources used by Sedex actually show a relevant risk for our product groups. Finally, for suppliers with a low overall risk, we check whether individual risks are particularly high.
In accordance with Sedex, we categorise the risk values determined in the analysis in high, medium and low risk areas. In the case of a higher risk value, we assume an increased probability of occurrence and can take this into account in the context of prioritisation. Prioritisation is also carried out for high individual risks by assigning them to a higher overall risk group. In addition, we look at the purchased goods and services in relation to their proximity to the product. Raw materials and packaging, for example, are elementary, which is why we pay special attention to them. In this way, we take into account the nature and scope of our business activities when prioritising. We also include our ability to influence in the analysis in this way because this is generally higher in areas with a particular proximity to the product than in other areas. For the proximity to the product, we also form three categories (low, medium, high) and relate these to the risk category of the suppliers, as shown in the following figure:
We divide these areas into four priority groups - descending from red (highest priority) through orange and yellow to green - and assign required prevention measures to the priority groups.
To counter the risks we have identified and those we may not yet have identified, we contractually oblige our direct suppliers to comply with the human rights and environmental imperatives set out in our Supplier Code of Conduct, and take appropriate remedial action in the event of violations. Depending on the risk assessment, we conduct surveys as well as inspections, and even on-site audits.
The analysis via Sedex covers all relevant human rights risks. We determine environmental risks within the meaning of the German Supply Chain Act (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz) with the help of a survey of our direct suppliers, whom we also contractually bind to comply with the requirements. We react to the findings from the self-disclosure and information obtained from other sources as required, and initiate the necessary and appropriate measures.
We are aware that – especially with regard to our raw materials – environmental and human rights risks occur primarily in the upstream supply chain, with indirect suppliers. With regard to our procurement needs, this applies in particular to cocoa, a raw material that is an indispensable basis for many of our products. To produce high-quality chocolate products, while at the same time minimising the human rights risks for cocoa farmers and continuously improving their working conditions, we are involved in the Forum Nachhaltiger Kakao e.V. (German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO)), a multi-stakeholder organisation in which the German government, represented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), the German confectionery industry, the German food trade and civil society have joined forces to pursue the common goal of improving the living conditions of cocoa farmers and their families and increasing the cultivation and marketing of cocoa certified according to sustainability standards in close cooperation with the governments of cocoa-producing countries. We are committed to the goals of GISCO and source a significant proportion of our cocoa from sustainably certified or appropriately verified cultivation. Storck sources cocoa from almost all growing regions in the world. In West Africa, a region where Storck does not maintain its own organisations, the human rights problems in cocoa cultivation, such as abusive child labour, are particularly serious. We address this situation by sourcing cocoa from Africa exclusively in a certified sustainable or appropriately verified manner. By 2030, at the latest, this should apply to all the cocoa we buy.
We see the implementation of human rights and environmental due diligence as an ongoing process. We accept this challenge and regularly review our strategic approaches and measures with a view to continuous improvement. We will conduct our risk analysis on an annual and ad hoc basis, incorporating findings from an annual review of the effectiveness of our preventive measures and any remedial measures that become necessary. The findings of reporting persons are also be taken into account.