Supply Chain Verification Introduction

Why a supply chain verification?
Under the circumstances of globalization, it must be ensured that international labour standards and rules are met throughout the production process.
We have openly disclosed our tradeways for over 15 years and provide evidence of compliance with these rules. However, we support the current calls
for a supply chain law.

What is special about our supply chain verification?
Being a Fair Trade company, we have a much more far-reaching claim. Our benchmark is not just compliance with legal requirements, but contributing
to better income and living conditions of our overseas partners. To this end, we follow our Fair Trade Rules. These achievements are also documented
through the supply chain verification.
We want to make the living conditions and achievements of the people behind the products visible. Our wish is to build a bridge between the producers
overseas and the customers here in Europe.

The diversity of supply chains
To speak of “supply chains” at CONTIGO is somewhat misleading. Most of our trade relationships are not chains, but direct partnerships.
CONTIGO knows and follows the development of its trading partners closely and over many years. In most cases, our trading partners are
manufacturers themselves, CONTIGO imports and distributes their products mainly without any further intermediate stages.

The production of handcrafted products overseas is very different from the industrial production and supply chains of large-scale suppliers.
Production structures, wage systems and social conditions overseas differ quite often from our well protected European conceptions.
For us, this means that our partners, within the framework of the rules of Fair Trade  should be able to work and live according to their
prospects without us patronizing them and imposing our own ideas everywhere.

People, friendships, stories and illustrations
In our understanding a supply chain verification should also include the development of human relationships. Trust is the basis of long-term cooperation.
Everywhere in the world there is joy and hope, but also sadness or disappointment. There are a number of stories, observations and anecdotes that make us think.
We are also describing these on the corresponding pages of our trading partners.

Sources, basics and tools
All information in this supply chain verification is the result of our own direct and multiple relationships. This is based on the SAR (self-assessment reports)
of our trading partners, their cooperation in updating our supply chain verfication, reports, minutes of visits and meetings and notes of our travellers.
We are maintaining permanent contact with the help of messengers and videoservices like Zoom. In addition, there are meetings in Europe from time to time
and visits to our headquarters in Göttingen, sometimes with family connections. Sometimes we make use of reports from other travellers, e.g. from World Shops,
journalists or development volunteers who were on site.

Author: Janina Lange on 3. February 2021

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