In order to assume responsibility towards our customers and the environment, as stated within our Corporate Governance Principles, we insist on compliance with and monitoring of ethical husbandry and animal welfare standards with respect to the production of poultry as well as other animal-based non food-products. For both our business partners and us, our Animal Welfare Policy serves as a guideline for the implementation of sustainable practices for the procurement of animal-based products and raw materials.
2. Scope of application
The Animal Welfare Policy applies to all by-products of poultry, and textiles made from animal-based raw Materials.
3. Commitment to Animal Welfare
For all relevant private label products, RICHARD BEHR & CO. requires compliance with all legal provisions in the area of animal welfare. For the production of items containing animal-based raw materials, the 'five freedoms of animal welfare' need to be considered:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst (access to fresh water and healthy feed)
- Freedom from discomfort (appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area)
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease (prevention or rapid treatment)
- Freedom to express normal behaviour (sufficient space, proper facilities, and company of the animal's own kind)
- Freedom from fear and distress (conditions and treatment which avoid suffering)
We are committed to ethical husbandry and the prevention of unnecessary suffering of animals throughout all stages of the supply chain.
RICHARD BEHR & CO. pursues the goal to actively extend its range of animal-based products sourced from production facilities which demonstrably apply animal welfare standards that exceed legal provisions. Furthermore, our suppliers are obliged to comply with social minimum standards at all stages of the production chain, i.e. from the fattening farm to the processor to the store (refer to Corporate Governance Principles/BSCI Code of Conduct).
4. Requirements and implementation
We actively promote compliance with animal welfare standards and for this purpose, we have already taken precise measures, amongst others, in the following areas:
Client Animal Welfare oriented product standards
Our clients are among the strongest drivers and champions of industrial level convergence of our industry toward Animal Welfare oriented product standards. We work with our clients to help them formulate their standards, goals, and monitor progress toward achieving the goals. We follow our highest client standards.
Requirements for goose and duck products
RICHARD BEHR & CO. sources goose and duck products exclusively from producers who are listed on the positive list of the animal welfare organization Four Paws or certified accordingly. This enables us to avoid the use of practices such as live-plucking or forced feeding for production of stuffed liver. Textiles-related animal welfare topics Down: no live-plucking and no forced feeding We reject both the live-plucking of ducks and geese and forced feeding of these animals. Our feather and down suppliers are obliged by contract to exclude live-plucking.
- All feathers used are duck down or duck feathers originating from China. According to animal rights organizations, live-plucking is usually not used to obtain the down or feathers of ducks. Moreover, China does not force feed animals to enlarge their livers.
- RICHARD BEHR & CO. rejects down from any producer who is included in the negative list of Four Paws.
- In order to ensure compliance with these requirements, we request our suppliers of all down-based products to disclose their entire supply chain back to the duck farms.
We strive to assist those customers who wish to follow a vegan lifestyle in selecting products that suit their needs, and we therefore label all relevant vegan products accordingly. For this purpose, we label products and explicitly describe products as “vegan” that contain no animal-based ingredients.
Third party audits
RICHARD BEHR & CO. uses the following third party audited standards to monitor compliance with these guidelines:
RICHARD BEHR & CO. is RDS Responsible Down Standard Scope certified
RICHARD BEHR & CO. issues specific RDS Certificates per order upon request by client
RICHARD BEHR & CO. is Downpass 2017 certified ID 17-240662
RICHARD BEHR & CO. is against animal testing and has never conducted or commissioned any animal testing. All products offered by RICHARD BEHR & CO. stores have not been tested on animals.
Detergents and cleaners
Regarding the development of detergents, the detergent industry is subject to the legal provisions of the Chemicals Act. For example, the act prohibits the testing of cleaner ingredients on animals, as long as there are scientifically satisfactory as well as practical alternatives to the corresponding tests. Moreover, all detergents used by RICHARD BEHR & CO. are vegan and biodegradable, which means that no animal-based ingredients are used for their production, and they will leave no lasting footprint in the environment in waste water disposal.
No products containing exotic or endangered species
We also reject products containing endangered species. This includes all species included in the IUCN Red List as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered or all species included in the CITES List (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
5. Active Implementation
At RICHARD BEHR & CO., we implement our sustainability requirements in close cooperation with our suppliers. The implementation of our internal requirements will be conducted by the buying departments with the support of the responsible drivers of Corporate Governance. Specific requirements, goals and measures will also be implemented in close cooperation. We monitor the implementation among our suppliers we conduct risk-oriented evaluations. We reserve us the right to have the requirements of our animal welfare policy verified by internal and/or external audits, if necessary. Moreover, we expect our suppliers to ensure that all personnel responsible for the handling of live animals is effectively trained to carry out routine husbandry practices in a way that minimizes pain and distress, and, where necessary, is qualified to promote good standards of animal welfare within their areas of responsibility. The present Animal Welfare Policy is part of our terms and conditions. Where instances of non-compliance with our policies are detected, suppliers are expected to provide corrective action plans that clearly demonstrate how relevant violations will be resolved within a specific timeframe. The Managing Directors are informed on the status of implementation on a regular basis.
We aspire to continuously improve products of our assortment to make them more animal-friendly. In this context, we always consider our customers' wishes and the market environment. The transition to more animal-friendly alternatives includes the following:
- extend the range of certified, organic products,
- extend the range vegan products
- extend the range of products with Downpass 2017 and/or RDS certification
- conduct pilot projects to promote high animal welfare standards
- improve husbandry conditions for conventional products in cooperation with our suppliers.
Since we aim to offer more sustainable products, an exchange with external partners is indispensable. Therefore, we are in close contact with NGOs, representatives of the scientific community, and stakeholders.
We require our suppliers to ensure traceability throughout the entire supply chain for all by-products (of fresh meat production) delivered to RICHARD BEHR & CO. Upon request, the supplier must be able to provide information on the entire value chain through the product labelling (lot or batch number in connection with the respective production date).
RICHARD BEHR & CO. has implemented a monitoring system for by-products of meat production to ensure full traceability for all its products. For this purpose, we regularly conduct comprehensive supplier audits with the assistance of independent third parties. Within the scope of these audits, the supplier is obliged to ensure full traceability of our products throughout the entire supply chain.
For all products made from animal-based raw materials, we also request that raw materials be traceable back to their origin. We use certificates or other relevant documents to monitor compliance with this requirement. Wherever traceability is limited due to structural characteristics of the industry at national or international level, we encourage efforts to improve traceability through our work in trade associations such as VDFI (Germany), EDFA (Europe) and IDFL (International).
Each year, the current Animal Welfare Policy is assessed and, if required, adjusted. In the long-term, this is the only way to guarantee a sustainable and responsible procurement of our animal-based products. In addition, based on this policy, we formulate goals and evaluate the extent to which these goals have been achieved on an annual basis.