44 The specialities grown for us in the source country are generally har vested only once a year There is no second chance Yet drought flooding or pests can lead to poor yields and a loss in quality When it comes to growing organic produce even the neighbouring farmers are a determin ing factor as sometimes due to water pollution or driftage caused by the wind we have to reject whole batches even though the organic farmer has done everything right Our Partner System helps us identify suppliers all over the world who know how to master such complex challenges and are prepared to enter into a long term quality based partnership with us We maintain records in our Partner System of 100 of our suppliers and service providers Lebensbaum Partner System Even before the first sack of raw materials reaches us we get to know everything about any potential supplier by means of a list of over 170 questions We collate the informa tion obtained on quality management site surroundings and environmental and social standards to form a comprehensive picture This holistic perspective is relevant for us as our experience shows that a similar sense of values not only in terms of quality but of envi ronmental and social responsibility as well is essential for any long term collaboration We formally record this shared sense of values in our code of conduct to which we commit ourselves and that is signed by all Lebensbaum suppliers We see our collaboration with our suppliers as a continuous process of coordination and improvement Our buyers and quality con trol officers regularly carry out on site audits The collaboration with our suppliers is annu ally rated not just by Purchasing but by the Quality Control Logistics and Research and Development departments as well We then jointly define improvement objectives with our suppliers This close integration on several levels is the essence of our quality based part nerships In this way we succeed in coping with the incalculable factors of nature while also get ting product innovations off the ground with consistent regularity In high risk countries we additionally check labour and social standards The Lebensbaum Partner System stands for transparent envi ronmental and social standards across the supply chain This has won the system multiple awards including the 2014 Ger man CSR Award However an enhancement that we made in 2015 shows that it is still possible to do a bit more in the case of farming partners from high risk countries BSCI classifi cation we check whether in addition to the organic certifi cation and documented agreement with our code of conduct there is any other proof of adherence to recognised labour and social standards e g through Fairtrade Naturland or SA 8000 certification If not we commission and finance Natur land to carry out an environmental and social standards audit at the relevant supplier s business as per the requirements of our Partner System The audit is repeated every three years Of the 6 604 tonnes of raw materials that we purchased in 2015 these extended requirements were already being ful filled in 81 per cent of all cases We aim to increase that percentage even further which is very ambitious since the number of Lebensbaum suppliers is constantly growing in line with the growth of our business Business Social Compliance Initiative 3 Our tools

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