Raw material sourcing
We choose our ingredients responsibly because our customers (de)serve better.
METRO incorporates tradition and modernity, expertise and ideas into innovations and alliances for sustainable food production. It is only through the interaction and collaboration of producers, suppliers, retailers and customers that we can find answers to today’s and tomorrow's questions and challenges. As champion for independent business we want to share this knowledge because the success of our customers is our business. Read more on our quarterly progress under Commitments.
Our sustainable sourcing approach
METRO is dedicated to offer its customers a sustainable assortment to meet our customers’ expectations and helping them to differentiate with a range of organic, regional, responsible products.
We systematically define the requirements for sustainable supply chain and procurement management. We develop and implement guidelines. By doing so, we act with the future in mind, strengthen our procurement channels and ensure that our product range becomes more and more sustainable.
At METRO, we aim to deliver sustainable food solutions with superior added economic value for independent businesses. We embrace our environmental and social responsibility in order to ensure the long-term viability of METRO. When it comes to sustainable wholesale and food sourcing, METRO follows a clear vision: "We will become sustainable in everything we do."
In the following you will find our policies and positions regarding sustainable raw material sourcing of METRO.
Sustainable sourcing policy
METRO has drawn up a purchasing policy focusing on its own brands. The aim is to source products sustainably, in terms of economic, environmental and social impacts.
Specific procurement policies
Animal Health and Welfare Position
Fish and seafood procurement policy
METRO’s customers have come to expect certain standards of us. In order to satisfy these expectations, we committed to a sustainable fish- and seafood policy in 2012 with an update in 2020 and since then strive to increase the share of fish and seafood from certified sources. With this METRO promotes high standards in seafood as well as the long-term protection of fish stocks, offering our customers products sourced responsibly. With its update in 2020 METRO also provides a newly established METRO Fish and Seafood Action Plan for initiatives on sustainable fish and seafood. The Action Plan puts the policy into implementation with actions.
Meat procurement policy
METRO is providing its customers with meat products that comply with the highest quality and safety standards and that have been produced socially and environmentally well. We are aware of the various sustainability topics around meat and we are committed to continue to work in our supply chains on more sustainable meat. That is why we introduced the METRO Meat Procurement Policy, to create a more sustainable meat offer, starting with our own brand meat products. We will bring together topics regarding meat and sustainability, and we explain our activities and commitments around these topics.
Palm oil procurement policy
With regards to sustainable palm oil our METRO Palm Oil Procurement Policy aims at 100% sustainable palm oil on RSPO level Segregated or Identity Preserved until 2023 in METRO’s own brand products.
Paper and wood procurement policy
Our METRO paper and wood procurement policy has the target to ensure that all own-brand products made from wood or wood fibre in accordance with the scope originate from legal and responsibly managed forests.
Soy procurement policy
Soy as a product, a product ingredient or a component of animal feed is an important commodity for us, with our Soy Procurement Policy we ensure sustainable soy sourcing and work together with our supply chain on challenges like deforestation and social issues.
Other Positions and initiatives on sustainable procurement
Genetically Modified Organisms
In the last years, the topic of genetically modified organisms (GMO) has become increasingly important as the food assortment impacted by GMO has been enlarged tremendously. On a world scale, consumers as well as experts assess the use of modern biotechnology in food items in completely different ways. METRO knows these differences and respects the particular perspectives of the different countries and their consumers. We have defined in our METRO Policy on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), a set of objectives related to GMO that we follow as a company, and on which we will report from 2022 onwards.
The diversity of species and their habitats is worth preserving, especially as animals and plants provide certain services that are essential for the production of food. For this reason, METRO supports the goals of the International Convention on Biological Diversity and contributes to the protection of biodiversity.
METRO acknowledges the fact, that own operations have an effect on biodiversity. To protect biodiversity at sites where we operate and to see how biodiversity is impacted by business activities, we piloted a project to identify sites in close proximity to World Heritage areas and IUCN Category I-IV protected areas, to then establish a mitigation hierarchy (avoid, minimize, restore & offset) when operating in areas in close proximity to critical biodiversity.
European Supply Chain Initiative
METRO is a member of the European Supply Chain Initiative. The aim is to promote fair business practices along the supply chain and to implement best practices.
METRO’s approach towards sustainable fish and seafood
Fisheries and aquaculture play a significant role in feeding our planet. Never before have responsible and sustainable fishing been so important for ensuring the well-being of people and the environment. Increasing demand for protein is putting pressure on fish stocks, while aquaculture, if poorly managed, can have a negative impact on the environment.
As one of Europe’s leading fish wholesalers, METRO takes responsibility at various stages of the value chain and acts in various ways:
- METRO seeks to expand the sustainability of its assortment of wild caught and aquaculture fish & seafood by requiring certification of products and establishing strong partnerships. METRO wants to contribute to further improving the conditions within its fish & seafood value chain and aims to provide more transparency within the own fish & seafood supply chain. Customers recognise this by the labels of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), GlobalG.A.P. and/or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).
- METRO fosters direct contact with small-scale fishermen and supports them in applying sustainable fishing practices. Our International Trading Office in Concarneau, a seaport town in Brittany, which is also responsible for purchasing fresh fish directly, cooperates closely with fishermen on small fishing boats (‘petits bateaux’). Petits bateaux must not be more than 24 metres long and are often used by small family-run fishing operations. The team at the Concarneau Trading Office (CTO) selects the best local fish early each morning at 15 fish auctions. The most important buying criterion besides excellent quality is whether the fishing method is sustainable: the fish has to have been caught from small fishing boats.
- METRO is an active partner of the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI) and is committed to the Global Benchmark Tool based on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) as well as to the development of further initiatives, driving forward to more sustainable seafood.
- METRO is one of the founders of the Global Tuna Alliance (GTA) and active partner from the beginning. GTA is an independent group of retailers and supply-chain companies, working to ensure that tuna ultimately meets the highest standards of environmental performance and social responsibility.
- The Global Dialogue on Seafood Traceability (GDST) was launched as a seafood industry forum dedicated to drafting the first global standard for seafood traceability, which was launched in March 2020. METRO is one of the initiators and supported the community approach for seafood traceability from the beginning on. The GDST includes the active participation of different seafood industry stakeholders along the entire supply chain.
Transparency and Traceability
METRO takes a transparent approach to its procurement of products and its usage of resources. We ensure this by maintaining direct relationships with our business partners. We have also developed a cross-industry, international traceability solution together with cooperation partners using GS1 Standards. METRO’s traceability solution PROTRACE provides customers and stakeholders with lot-based traceability information and more based on different data sources.
Transparent supply chain for fish and meat first
METRO is dedicated to taking a sustainable approach to sensitive product groups and started with fish and meat. This means, for instance, that customers can call up detailed data on numerous meat products, such as their origins, processing, quality and sustainability or find out where and how the fish they are buying was caught – quickly and easily using a smartphone app. Precondition is that the products are labelled with a unique product identifier and that the right information and data are uploaded by the suppliers regularly. This innovative solution is special because everyone from the producer to the vendor is involved. Feeding the data into the system is flexible depending on the volume and digitalization level of the supply chain partners.
Today PROTRACE provides beyond traceability also interesting insights into the production process and background information about the product itself. Traceability for fruit and vegetable is in the piloting phase. This traceability solution follows a generic approach and can be applied to all kind of articles. This means it will be possible to add other product groups and databases in the future. All market players throughout the supply chain can take part, wherever they are in the world. METRO is considered exemplary in the battle against illegal fishing thanks to its use of modern traceability systems PROTRACE.