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Suppliers’ Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct defines the principles and requirements that Carl Kühne KG (GmbH & Co.) makes of its suppliers of raw materials and packaging materials regarding their responsibilities towards people, the environment and business practices. The following principles are founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and on the ETI Base Code.

The Suppliers’ Code of Conduct is an integral part of supplier agreements and serves as the basis for our business relations. Carl Kühne KG (GmbH & Co.) reserves the right to amend the requirements of this Code of Conduct in line with changes made to the legal and/or normative underlying conditions. In such cases, Carl Kühne KG (GmbH & Co.) expects its suppliers to accept any such appropriate amendments.

It is the supplier’s responsibility to ensure that all laws and regulations and any other arrangements which are relevant to the requirements of this Code of Conduct are complied with and/or applied. Carl Kühne reserves the right to verify implementation of this Code of Conduct by means of customer audits. If the Code of Conduct is not complied with, this may result in the termination of the corresponding business relations.

Compliance with the Code of Conduct is ensured by means of organisational and systemic measures. The requirements of this Code of Conduct must be communicated to sub-suppliers who provide Carl Kühne KG (GmbH & Co.) with products, materials or services.

By signing this document, you confirm that you have read and understood the terms and conditions of the Carl Kühne KG (GmbH & Co.) Code of Conduct, accept said terms and conditions and will comply with them.


Compliance with the law

The laws of the applicable legal system(s) are to be complied with. International foreign trade provisions and customs regulations are to be respected.


Prohibition of corruption and bribery

Corruption and bribery will not be tolerated. Documents, records, permits, etc. which are relevant to Carl Kühne are transparent, correct, trustworthy and not manipulated.


Confidentiality and data protection

All business and operational information relating to business relations with Kühne which has not legitimately been made public is subject to non-disclosure (confidentiality) and may not be disclosed to unauthorised third parties. This shall continue to apply after termination of the business relationship.


Respecting employees’ basic rights

No discrimination

The discrimination of employees on the grounds of race, religion, creed, marital status, motherhood, age, political orientation, nationality, disability, health situation, sexual orientation or any other reasons is forbidden.

No forced labour

Carl Kühne does not accept forced labour. All the employees of Carl Kühne suppliers must be in possession of a legal work permit. The employer shall not confiscate an employee’s personal documents or possessions. The company treats its employees with dignity and respect. The use of physical and verbal force, sexual harassment and coercion shall not be tolerated.

Protection of employees’ rights

A comprehensible contract of employment shall be drawn up in writing for every employee to govern all the relevant employment terms and conditions prior to the start of the employee’s employment. In accordance with the contractual terms and conditions, the employer–employee relationship may be terminated without the loss of income and without financial penalties. Carl Kühne does not tolerate the unacceptable treatment of or disciplinary measures being taken against the workforce; employees, sub-employees and temporary employees are entitled to take legal action against reprimands, disciplinary measures or dismissal. Employees shall receive all the benefits to which they are legally entitled, such as health insurance, social security, pension insurance, etc.

Payment of appropriate wages

The supplier to Carl Kühne shall ensure that a transparent and trustworthy system for logging working hours and remuneration payments is put in place. Employees shall receive at least the legal minimum wage. There is no obligation of the payment of deposits of any kind. The employees shall not pay for the recruitment process, either directly or indirectly. In the event that a recruitment agent demands commission, this shall be reimbursed by the employer. The employees shall not be requested to provide collateral or accept delayed wage payments. Employer loans and wage payments in advance are not designed to bind the employee to the company.

Guaranteeing of appropriate working hours

Carl Kühne suppliers must observe the maximum working hours including overtime as stipulated in the laws of the country in question. The employees are entitled to at least one day off a week. Overtime hours are performed voluntarily. The employees shall be granted free time in accordance with the applicable legislation, local tradition and other standards.

Prohibition of child labour

Neither suppliers nor sub-suppliers will make use of child labour. The supplier must be able to provide evidence of the ages of all its employees at all times. The rights of adolescent workers are to be protected.

Freedom of association

The right of all workers to form and join trade unions and to engage in collective bargaining is explicitly recognised. Employee representatives may not be subject to any forms of discrimination and must be granted access to all the places of work which are necessary in order for them to execute their representational duties. Employers must be open to and positive regarding the activities of the trade unions. In countries in which this right is regulated, limited or prevented by legislation, the supplier shall not obstruct the realisation of alternative, free and independent employee organisations.



Employee organisations

Employee health and safety

Carl Kühne requires all of its suppliers to ensure that their employees are not exposed to serious health and safety risks directly posing a deadly threat or lasting harm. The supplier is obliged to establish and apply an appropriate occupational health and safety system and fire safety programme including workflows for the reporting, implementation and auditing of measures regarding incidents and accidents. Appropriate danger assessment enables the supplier to identify the risks related to their work and leads to the best possible precautionary measures for accidents and occupational illness.

The supplier shall provide all of its employees with accident insurance that guarantees medical care in the event of workplace accidents and compensation for lasting harm. Appropriate personal protective equipment, protective clothing and first-aid supplies are to be made available for all employees in an appropriate manner and to a sufficient degree. Carl Kühne attaches particular importance to the maintenance of safe and hygienic labour conditions for all the employees throughout the supply chain. Break and communal rooms and places in which to live and sleep are supplied to a sufficient degree and comply at least with international social standards. The supplier must afford swift access to clean drinking water to all the employees. Work areas and staff rooms are to be adequately ventilated and heated.


Environmental protection

There shall be no serious environmental pollution such that the pollution can have a negative effect on the environment marginally beyond the company premises and is difficult to remedy. The procedures and standards for waste management, the handling and disposal of chemicals and other hazardous substances, emissions and effluent treatment must at least meet or exceed the minimum statutory requirements.


Supply chain

Compliance with the details of the Code of Conduct is to be appropriately promoted among the suppliers throughout the supply chain. The principles of non-discrimination are to be observed at all times when selecting suppliers and in dealings with the suppliers.


This Code of Conduct merely stipulates the minimum requirements. Carl Kühne therefore does not allow the requirements and terms and conditions of this code to be interpreted as maximum requirements.