In our Sustainability Report in accordance with GRI Standards, we explain our understanding of sustainability, and report on current activities and targets. The focus is on supply chain transparency and the traceability of our products.
As a spice producer, our business model obliges us to rely on intact economic, ecological and social systems in our procurement and sales markets. That’s why we do our best to conserve resources, to protect the climate and to improve the living and working conditions of the people along our supply chain. Further insights are available here.
We see ourselves as having responsibility to respect human rights in our global supply and value-added chains, and to use best endeavours towards guaranteeing them. We are committed to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and want to contribute towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Spices are the origin of the Fuchs Gruppe. Our success is largely dependent on intact economic, ecological and social systems in the spice-growing regions. We therefore feel we have a special duty to handle resources responsibly and sustainably. Because of our shareholder structure, we are interested in long-term, forward-looking, value-creating company development. Our thinking and actions have been multi-generational for many decades. This corporate philosophy is expressed in our values and in our entrepreneurial self-image. Our corporate aims have been oriented in this direction ever since our company was founded nearly 70 years ago.
In relation to our raw materials, we pay attention to unbroken traceability right back to the growing regions. We want to know the origin of every batch, and the route it took on its way to us. To guarantee the highest levels of safety and quality for every one of our products, we pursue a corresponding strategy in our raw materials sourcing, which already starts in their growing regions. We collaborate there only with growers, producers and suppliers that comply with our codes of conduct and prescribed social and ecological guidelines. We then buy our raw materials from them directly and as un-milled as possible, i.e. whole or in the form of large pieces, and we process and refine them in our own production facility.
In this way, we minimise the risk factors that favour Food Fraud, e.g. potentially non-transparent trading structures or purchase on the spot market. Moreover, we maintain long-standing, stable relations with suppliers and contract farmers, thus creating good conditions and reducing the incentive for fraud.
Our products are certified according to high quality standards in the food and packaging industries. A selection of our certificates can be found here.
Note: the figures relate to the 2020 financial year.
As a food industry company, an intact environment has central importance for us. We source our raw materials from various regions of the world, since they are the only places where conditions for growing them exist. Local climate changes can cause these growing regions to shrink or completely relocate – with dramatic consequences, especially for our suppliers with small-scale farming structures. Therefore, long-term, partnership-based relationships with suppliers with whom we maintain direct, personal contact are centrally important to us, and we employ numerous staff locally on site for this purpose. These staff support the local growers, processors and exporters, give training courses on the subjects of quality assurance and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and continuously exchange information with suppliers, including details of cultivating, harvesting or drying the spices. That’s how, together with them, we ensure that protected natural areas remain unharmed, and nature is treated sustainably.
The black pepper is planted by licensed suppliers; the pepper panicles are picked by hand. The harvested pepper is carefully sorted and spread out in the sun to dry. During the drying process, the peppercorns are turned several times. Before leaving the plantation, the pepper undergoes an extensive selection process.
After packing it in sacks, the pepper is transported to regional wholesalers. Upon arriving there and before purchasing, our buyers from Europe conduct on-site quality testing.
The pepper is then transported by lorry to international ports and loaded on container ships. It embarks on its journey across the ocean in climate controlled containers. It then travels from the port in Hamburg to the Fuchs Gewürzwerk spice factory.
Our incoming goods control subjects the raw goods to a thorough inspection for quality, form and colour. The goods are placed in high-rack storage until all extensive quality controls are completed. Only after analyses in our on-premises and additional external laboratories have been performed, do the raw goods undergo further processing.
We ensure the quality of the goods by using state-of-the-art technologies, like steam sterilisation. Applying cold-milling, the pepper is ground in an extensively aroma-preserving process.
The pepper is filled in aroma-tight packaging in fully automatic filling plants. The finished product is individually confectioned for food retailers and shipped.
To ensure seamless raw materials traceability, we invest in modern technologies and in digitising our processes. Through this, we have been able to considerably increase the transparency of the raw materials flows and of their response and controllability with regard to quality and harvest quantity. For example, we have developed our own app to enable all the relevant data about a contract partner or about a batch to be recorded and retrieved on mobile devices. Furthermore, we have developed software that reconciles the data about our suppliers with those from quality assurance laboratories, and makes anomalies or discrepancies recognisable immediately.
For those of our Fuchs, Ostmann, Wagner and Bio Wagner branded spices that are not pure flavours, we use exclusively natural ingredients. They are free from flavour-enhancing additives, preservatives and palm oil.
We bring the joy of food to life: every day, worldwide, more than 3,200 Fuchs Gruppe employees ensure the joy of food and good taste.
Note: the figures relate to the 2020 financial year.
An unchecked rise in temperatures results in extreme climatic events such as heatwaves, droughts, flooding or forest fires. These have profound consequences for the regions from which we obtain our raw materials: growing regions could become smaller or change their position – with far-reaching social and economic consequences.
Therefore, the aim of our sustainability activities is:
• To contribute to ensuring achievement of the target agreed at the UN Climate Conference in Paris in 2015, namely limiting the rise in global warming to a maximum of two degrees compared to pre-industrial levels.
• To support the aims of the United Nations (SDGs; Sustainable Development Goals) through our activities.
We promote energy efficiency in our supply chain: We urge our suppliers to use resources responsibly and to take care to ensure a low use of energy. This encouragement is a component of our supplier selection process, and enters into the design of contracts with our suppliers.
* Energy consumption of electricity and gas energy carriers in kW/h
** We need water in the production facility for two particular reasons: as a constituent for many of our products, and to clean our production plants.