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We have suppliers all over the world, and we prefer to work with suppliers who support our sustainability goals. Our Supplier Code of Conduct defines the requirements to be met by our suppliers. It is based on applicable legislation and recognised international standards on environmental, human and labour rights, anti-corruption, animal welfare and food safety. The code reflects, among other things, the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

We have also drawn up a separate Code of Practice for our cooperative owners that lays down our requirements to be met by suppliers of pigs and sows, as well as a Code of Practice for those planning to transport pigs to Danish Crown. For example, our cooperative owners observe various animal welfare standards, including DANISH Product Standard in Denmark, QS in Germany and Grundcertificering Gris in Sweden.

In 2020/21, we trained our procurement function staff in engaging with our suppliers on the sustainability requirements defined in our code. Again this year, we are in dialogue with a few of our suppliers regarding our endorsement of their own codes, while all suppliers of meat to Danish Crown Foods have accepted our code.

Due diligence

In 2020/21, we developed a self-evaluation questionnaire to be used by our group procurement function in connection with their initial supplier assessment and due diligence process.

By means of clearly defined risk categories, we are continuing the development of an audit programme for our group procurement suppliers. We expect to initiate the implementation thereof in 2021/22. The programme will comprise Danish Crown’s own sustainability requirements and our customers’ requirements, and the results thereof will be included in the annual supplier assessment.

We encourage both internal and external stakeholders to report any suspicion of non-compliance with legislation or our policies via the whistleblower scheme.


We will integrate environmental, social and ethical considerations into our business operations and supply chain by making demands on our suppliers.


We support target 12.6 by encouraging suppliers to adopt sustainable practices.

Continued NGO focus on beef from Brazil

Our Supplier Code of Conduct also covers our trading company ESS-FOOD, which sells and
distributes fresh and frozen food products all over the world. In last year’s report, we referred to a case concerning distribution of beef from a Brazilian abattoir without a guarantee for its origin. In 2020/21, NGOs such as Greenpeace increased their focus on the risk of deforestation and violation of the rights of indigenous people among beef cattle farmers in Brazil.

In response to this case, we are currently ensuring that all of ESS-FOOD’s suppliers in Brazil have accepted our code and understood their responsibility with the purpose of securing proper conditions in the chain. Our dialogues with specific Brazilian suppliers about our sustainability requirements confirm that they have launched new initiatives to protect nature and people. We are still planning to have this information verified through audits.

Status of Supplier Code of Conduct

Since the launch of our Supplier Code of Conduct in 2019, our group procurement department has focused especially on suppliers of food ingredients, packaging materials and logistics. At the end of 2020/21, we had achieved the following acceptance percentages for our Supplier Code of Conduct:


Food ingredients


Packaging materials



Our goal for these categories in 2020/21 was to have acceptance from suppliers covering 85% of our total procurement volume – and although we have not achieved that percentage for a few categories, we still believe we can achieve the 90% target for 2021/22. It is still a requirement that all new suppliers can only enter into agreement with Danish Crown group procurement by accepting our Supplier Code of Conduct.