41 Prologue Dear Reader The manufacture of tea coffee and spices is a process that begins up to 15 000 kilometres away from our factory gates Our Darjeeling teas for example are grown in India s Happy Valley tea garden Farming partners cultivate raw materials for us on every continent in the world apart from Antarctica This means that events in faraway climes also affect us directly The roya fungus is decimating Mexico s cof fee harvest Whole tea gardens are sliding into valleys in the Indian highlands People are flee ing the land in Turkey leading to a shortage of farm workers in the fields Such crises are reducing the supply of organic raw materials at a time when demand is already rising faster than supply In this difficult situation we are benefitting from having had almost four dec ades in the business to find some of the world s best partners for organic farming Besides the professionalism shown in the face of crisis I am thinking especially of their ability to grow exceptional teas coffees and spices for us Take the Ambootia Tea Group for instance which does not only supply us but also the British royal family with the finest Darjeeling teas A representative survey of 1 000 consumers of organic products which we conducted in 2013 showed that the level of repeat purchases is exceptionally high for Lebensbaum products once you ve tried a Lebensbaum product you want to buy it again because it tastes great So there is a causal link between customer loyalty and how good our products taste And it is precisely this great taste which largely originates on the fields of our farming partners Modern and fair Like all pioneers of the organic movement I got involved many years ago with the aim of establishing a modern farming and food industry which could supply everyone fairly into the next century as well This requires lateral thinking with entrepreneurial flair and that is why we have combined economic ecological and social aspects within one system of action This synopsis is a structuring principle Moreover it is worth the effort from a business perspective because it helps us to understand our own company better We can find ways of saving costs and enhance credibility through transparency And not just in our own company but across the entire value chain This is advantageous because we are long past the time when simply having an organic label on a product was enough Many people want to know more for example what is the situation in the coffee producing countries Are the people there treated fairly What kind of environmen tal protection systems are in place in the supply chain but also at the company site We can provide concrete evidence of these issues through our processes documents and this report based on the Global Reporting Initiative s globally applicable guidelines We have adapted our reporting in line with its new G4 Standard Foreword

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