Information about the We Care label for consumers
What is the We Care label?
We Careis a new, comprehensive sustainability standard that monitors environmental and CSR (corporate social responsibility) compliance in the food industry. The label proves that a company is complying with We Care’s comprehensive sustainability criteria at its own site and across its supply chains. We Care-certified companies comply with environmental and CSR standards at every stage of a product’s life cycle – from initial cultivation in its country of origin (whether locally or abroad) right down to the finished product. These companies are committed to continuous improvement and work closely with their partners across their supply chains to produce and market food products in a fair and environmentally-friendly way.
What are the benefits of the We Care standard?
The We Care standard combines rigorous environmental and CSR standards across food production supply chains. It is a professional and independent standard that verifies whether a company is complying with ethical and environmentally-friendly food production standards from cultivation in the countries of origin through to the finished product. We Care confirms whether a company is honouring its commitments across all its supply chains. We Care focuses on the sustainability of a company as a whole. In other words, it does not just focus on individual (flagship) products or isolated sustainability issues but on the company’s entire activities, including all the important environmental and CSR issues. This ensures that We Care-certified companies operate transparently for the benefit of people and the environment.
Which criteria does We Care monitor specifically?
The We Care certification process involves a comprehensive audit of a company’s sustainable business processes. This covers four key areas of action: corporate governance, supply chain management, environmental management and employee responsibility. Each area is subdivided into 164 criteria / The areas of action are subdivided into 164 criteria. Environmental management and employee responsibility apply to the company’s own on-site operations. This focuses primarily on standard sustainability issues. For example, GMO-free product ranges, biodiversity and animal welfare in the procurement of raw materials, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity protection and wages that are in line with the minimum wage or collective agreements.
Unlike other sustainability standards, We Care focuses heavily on supply chain management. It sets out in detail how companies should take responsibility for their supply chains not only in terms of human rights but also in terms of CSR and environmental compliance. Companies must therefore establish rules for their day-to-day processes and take immediate action if CSR, environmental or animal welfare standards are infringed across their supply chains. . To achieve certification, a company must also prove that it has developed long-standing and trusted partnerships with its suppliers. Procurement also plays a key role, which involves ensuring that fair prices are paid for raw materials. To achieve certification, a company must also prove that it has developed long-standing and trusted partnerships with its suppliers. Procurement also plays a key role, which involves ensuring that fair prices are paid for raw materials. Suppliers must prove that they are We Care compliant in order to work with We Care-certified companies. To become We Care certified, companies must also be able to demonstrate that they oblige their business partners to sign up to a code of conduct in line with CSR standards. They must also check that these companies are actually following this code of conduct.
Why is there a need for another standard for the food industry?
- Organic labels
Organic certification confirms that a product and/or its ingredients have been grown and processed organically. The We Care standard examines the goals, rules and documentation that are used to drive sustainability on a daily basis at company level. It is a management system standard that confirms whether a company is honouring its commitments at every stage with regard to its supply chains and environmentally-friendly working practices. This standard therefore verifies whether companies are systematically operating in a sustainable and partnership-based way across their supply chains. The We Care standard therefore complements other organic standards perfectly.
- Fair Trade and other sustainability labels
The We Care standard goes one step further than other sustainability standards because it closely examines the way environmental and CSR aspects are dealt with across all supply chains. These aspects are also carefully examined at a company’s own sites. Standard Fair Trade systems and sustainability labels certify individual products; however, they do not cover all aspects, including a company’s procurement practices. This is why We Care complements other Fair Trade certifications perfectly.
Why is there a need for another label for the food industry?
Which body is behind the We Care standard and what role does it play?
What is a supply chain (in the food industry)?
We Care defines a supply chain as the network of partner companies which are involved in food production and processing from the cultivation stage through to the end product. It encompasses all suppliers and their suppliers that are involved in the cultivation, processing, manufacturing and marketing of a food product.
How do people living in the Global South benefit from We Care?
Many people living in the Global South are subjected to poor working conditions and are not fairly paid. Environmental damage is also common in these regions, particularly in food producing areas where natural resources are not used responsibly. This can significantly diminish the prospects of people living in these regions. The rigorous standards that need to be met to become We Carecertified can significantly improve the economic, social and environmental conditions for people living in the Global South. A We Care-certified company establishes rules for its day-to-day processes and takes immediate action if CSR, environmental or animal welfare standards are infringed in any of its supply chains. It is also committed to developing close and long-standing partnerships with its suppliers and is able to provide evidence of this.
The procurement departments of We Care companies also play a critical role. Among other things, they must ensure that fair prices are paid for raw materials. To be able to work with a We Care-certified company, all suppliers must prove that they are complying with the environmental, CSR and contractual criteria that have been agreed. Companies that hold the We Care label must prove to the auditors that their processes and procedures conform with the 164 criteria and that they are able to provide complete, transparent and traceable records of all their dealings with their business partners.
What exactly does We Care certify?
The We Care label is a sustainability standard which verifies that food companies are adopting a systematic, targeted and comprehensive approach to sustainability and corporate social responsibility across all of their supply chains. The audit checks whether the company has defined its own goals, processes and measures for specified areas of action. It also examines whether employee tasks and responsibilities as well as documentation requirements have been adequately defined. The comprehensive audit involves on-the-spot checks which verify whether the requirements have been implemented as part of day-to-day operations.