Sustainability report 2017
Chocolat Frey AG, the market leader* in the Swiss chocolate and chewing gum market, was founded in 1887 by Max and Robert Frey. Migros acquired the chocolate manufacturer in 1950, merged operations with all other Migros chocolate, confectionary and sweets companies in 1967, and added a chewing gum production division to the company in 1974. Since then, from its plant in Buchs, in the canton of Aargau, Switzerland, Chocolat Frey has been manufacturing high-quality, sustainably produced chocolate and chewing gum products, and semi-finished products for home and abroad.
(*Chocolate: 33.2% market share//Chewing gum: 47.9% market share in Switzerland)
Chocolat Frey - part of a bigger whole
Chocolat Frey is part of the Migros Group, a cooperative group comprising the Migros cooperative association, regional cooperatives and their associated companies and foundations.
Within the Migros Group, Chocolat Frey is part of Migros Industry, a customer-oriented, efficient and innovative Swiss group of companies in the food and near-food sector. Its 20,000 products make it one of the world’s largest manufacturers of own-brand products. Chocolat Frey, SweetWorks, Delica, Total Capsule Solutions, Midor and La Riseria make up segment IV and cover Migros Industry’s confectionary, snacks, coffee and rice range (Segment IV).
The Migros Group’s principles and values, and therefore those of Chocolat Frey too, are characterised by economic, environmental and social responsibility. With its high-quality and sustainable offer, Chocolat Frey stands for enjoyment with a clear conscience. Among other things, Chocolat Frey’s commitment to sustainability is based on M-Industry’s sustainability strategy.
SweetWorks – Chocolat Frey’s North American subsidiary
Chocolat Frey acquired North American chocolate manufacturer SweetWorks in 2014. From its manufacturing plants in Buffalo (NY, USA) and Toronto (ON, CA), the company produces high-quality chocolate, colourful sweets and chewing gums. In addition to its “Chocolat Frey” brand, launched on the North American market in 2016, SweetWorks also has five other internationally recognised brands: Niagara by Frey™, Ovation by Frey™, Celebration by Frey™, Sixlets® and Oak Leaf.
Chocolat Frey AG is divided into two divisions: BU Chocolate and BU Chewing Gum. The support departments in these business units are CFO & Management Services, R&D and PR & Communications. The Sustainability department, along with Quality Assurance, comes under R&D.
Chocolate and Chewing Gum Business Units
|Besonderes für alle||Wir lieben unsere Produkte und geben unser Bestes. So erschaffen wir besondere Qualität für alle – Tag für Tag.|
|Gelebte Fairness||Wir gehen mit Ressourcen sorgsam und nachhaltig um. Damit leisten wir unseren Beitrag für eine gesunde Umwelt – über die gesamte Wertschöpfungskette.|
||Wir begegnen uns partnerschaftlich und auf gleicher Augenhöhe. Schweizerische Bescheidenheit zeichnet uns aus.|
|Immer am Puls der Zeit||Wir orientieren uns an den Bedürfnissen unserer Kunden und entwickeln laufend zeitgemässe und innovative Produkte.|
Values, principles, standards and code of conduct
Good corporate management is really important to us. It requires clear corporate guidelines and knowledge of how to behave when infringements occur.
As part of the Migros Group, as a matter of principle Chocolat Frey’s actions are based on the six Group principles: a cooperative philosophy, Swiss roots, sustainable development, credibility, professional passion and responsibility. These principles and the rules for how to act derived from them are recorded in several Migros Group policy documents. A central element in this is the Code of Conduct, which is based on the fundamental values of “credibility” and “responsibility” and captures the eleven most important legal and ethical rules of conduct in the Migros Group. These rules can be summarised as follows: “We do not strive for profit at any price, but want to achieve our objectives by acting responsibly and within the law.” This code is followed by Migros Group employees and its executive bodies. Since this is responsible corporate management, we always work with suppliers and business partners who also live and breathe the main aspects of our code of conduct.
In addition to these Migros Group documents, our mission statement supplements the regulations by outlining the company’s guiding principles, culture and creed.
When new employees receive their contract of employment, they are also given the above documents, which are available in several languages and some of which come in the form of an animated film. All new employees also receive one off - training on compliance when they join the company. Furthermore, because of their roles, some employees are obliged to complete an e-learning module on certain topics when they start their role or change jobs, or every three years. Over and above this our compliance contact person attends a specialist conference once a year.
The company’s divisions are exposed to various corruption risks along the supply chain and associated support processes. Procedures and processes based on Migros’s anti-corruption guidelines have been developed to enable Chocolat Frey AG to deal with any risk of corruption effectively. A risk matrix is produced for all business locations. In principle we assume that our employees do not intentionally behave in a criminal manner, i.e. they do not intend to enrich themselves, or directly or indirectly cause the company harm. We see ignorance of existing guidelines as one of the main risks in terms of any infringement. Through training we want to raise employees’ sensitivity towards and awareness of corruption risks. When they are given their employment contract, all new employees also receive the anti-corruption guidelines and are given information about them during induction training. In 2017, 151 employees completed the training. Every three years our employees from the risk group have to complete the e-learning course on corruption prevention. The “completed vs. requested” fulfilment rate of the e-learning course on corruption prevention in 2017 was 72%. No incidences of corruption have been recorded at Chocolat Frey.
Reporting office for infringements of the code of conduct
Integrity is a priority at Chocolat Frey. We expect our employees to address infringements of the code of conduct – ideally directly with the individuals or managers concerned. If for any reason this is not possible, employees and executive bodies still have the option of reporting them to the specialist internal reporting office “M-Concern”. Information about possible infringements of the prohibition on corruption or competition law, offences against property or infringements in the area of personnel law can be reported to this office. All reports are treated confidentially. After a report is made, an initial assessment is immediately carried out and necessary investigations commenced and resolution measures introduced.
For 2017, the year under review, “M-Concern” received no reports concerning Chocolat Frey.
Countless groups and individuals are affected in one way or another by Chocolat Frey AG’s value added and environmental impacts. In general a distinction can be made between two groups:
1) Stakeholders who are directly affected by Chocolat Frey’s business activities along the supply chain, or have a direct influence on it (blue circle).
2) Stakeholders who are indirectly affected by Chocolat Frey’s business activities and make social demands on the company (outer circle).
Chocolat Frey in dialogue
Since the concept of sustainability demands that stakeholders’ needs are taken into account from the three aspects of social, environmental and economical sustainability, both for people today and for future generations, Chocolat Frey maintains ongoing contact and dialogue with various stakeholders. This allows the company to identify and respond promptly to social issues.
Chocolat Frey is therefore involved in major national and international organisations and associations in the sector, such as Chocosuisse, the Association of Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers and the Swiss platform for sustainable cocoa, and the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). Furthermore, since 2011 the company has been working closely with certification organisation UTZ and is involved in a number of other associations and organisations.1
As well as this institutionalised form of dialogue, Chocolat Frey nurtures social dialogue with all relevant stakeholders interested in a frank discussion. Company representatives and the municipality of Buchs meet once a year to exchange ideas, for example.
Consumers also play a key role in the dialogue with Chocolat Frey. As their expectations are continually changing, it is hugely important that Chocolat Frey keeps in continuous contact with them. Various communications channels have therefore been established, such as the website contact form, the direct email address for various company departments, and social media channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Migros consumers can also contact Chocolat Frey via M-Infoline or Migipedia, suggest ideas and take part in votes on products. The company is also in regular contact with consumers through its newsletter and Visitor Centre.
When dealing with suppliers and customers, Chocolat Frey continually strives to build long-term and stable relationships, which are beneficial to both sides, whether it concerns ensuring the supply of raw materials and products, or guaranteeing specific qualities. Furthermore Chocolat Frey is concerned with keeping supply chains short, guaranteeing the traceability of goods and working with suppliers who commit to observing social standards.
Lastly, Chocolat Frey also has an ongoing dialogue with its employees, of course. For example, every three years comprehensive employee surveys are conducted to ascertain employee satisfaction and requirements. Employees can also put forward their own ideas and suggest improvements via internal ideas management, or discuss their concerns with the Staff Committee, which meets with the management team twice a year. Apart from that, employees have the opportunity to report infringements of the Migros Group’s Code of Conduct to the “M-Concern” reporting office.
In general, thanks to its active stakeholder management, Chocolat Frey has ascertained that various stakeholders are interested in the company’s current sustainability performance and would like to receive more comprehensive information about it. Chocolat Frey has therefore decided to write a sustainability report and present its sustainability performance transparently.
General information about the report
Along with other M-Industry companies, Chocolat Frey AG set itself the goal of publishing a company-sustainability report by 2020. This statement is therefore our first such report. The information applies solely to the company’s premises in Buchs, Switzerland and the data and key figures relate to the 2017 calendar year. For illustration purposes, figures from previous years have also been taken into account and the content relating to strategy, policy and approach were valid for 2017.
The report was written in conformance with GRI standards (core option). The GRI-Content-Index always makes reference to the scope of the respective figure or indicator. This ensures that what each piece of information specifically refers to is transparent. It was decided that an external review of the report would not be conducted.
The content of this online report is primarily addressed at specialists and sustainability experts, which is why we have deliberately provided a factual, current and transparent presentation. We have focused on those aspects of company activity that have fundamental environmental, economic and social impacts. Nevertheless it is important for the company to provide as complete and comprehensive a picture of our sustainability performance as possible. We also ensured that our reporting is balanced, highlighting not only our achievements, but also where action needs to be taken.
Chocolat Frey’s materiality analysis
The GRI aspects contained in this report were ascertained as follows:
M-Industry’s materiality analysis was carried out on behalf of the Sustainability Steering Committee. Knowledge and information were taken from external ratings, media and NGO publications, as well as information from direct stakeholder contacts during surveys and projects, to determine importance to stakeholders
The following diagram depicts our materiality analysis. This report features only the essential aspects (1).
1 Aspects: Chocolat Frey has classified as essential aspects that have both a major impact and are of high importance for stakeholders and these are featured in the report.
2 Aspects: aspects that have either a major impact or are of high importance for stakeholders and are not featured in Chocolat Frey’s report.
The diagram does not list aspects that have neither a major impact nor a high importance for stakeholders.