Supply chain and products

The assortment of METRO Cash & Carry includes numerous high-value own brand items alongside branded products. We assume responsibility for these products and their supply chain. In our daily business we strive to meet our customers’ expectations with sustainable products of outstanding quality. Therefore, we are working closely with suppliers, implement high quality standards and enhance transparency along the entire supply chain. Suppliers have to meet high quality requirements and comply with environmental and social standards. These include demanding quality specifications and observance of human rights, animal welfare and environmental aspects. Today and in the future, a range of corporate guidelines and globally recognised directives ensure that suppliers meet our requirements.

Sustainability along the supply chain

With our strong commitment to sustainable products and sustainability along the supply chain, we contribute to coping with one of today’s most pressing global challenges: safeguarding food supplies. We are dedicated to boosting yields per acre whilst conserving resources along the supply chain. Reducing food waste is another priority. Optimising production methods sustainably increases the crop yield. Improved processing also increases the amount of marketable produce. Sophisticated logistical and ordering systems help to decrease food waste en route from the field to the store. Responsible product range management, packaging and consumer information also minimise the spoilage of edible produce.

Vietnamese Saleswoman on a Vegetable Market
Chinese Staff

Our stores offer up to 30,000 non-food products - renowned brands as well as exclusive own brand articles for which we assume a special responsibility. We are committed to meeting high production quality and environmental protection standards as well as to complying with the fundamental work standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The responsible approach to procurement and the sustainable use of resources will help to ensure the availability of products in future.

Paper & Wood Procurement Policy 

METRO Cash & Carry is committed to promoting sustainable forestry and continuously seeks to optimise the purchasing process in order to ensure that it only purchases wood and paper products originating from legal and more sustainable sources. Our target is to ensure that 100% of its own-brand products in which wood or wood fibre accounts for more than 50% of the finished product (in terms of weight) originate from legal and responsibly managed forests by the end of 2020.

METRO Cash & Carry offers its customers a wide variety of proven environmentally friendly and socially responsible products throughout its whole food and non-food assortment. By that, we give our customers the opportunity of having an impact on environmental and working conditions along the entire value chain. For METRO Cash & Carry, the following areas are particularly relevant.

Ethical husbandry | animal protection

Meat and meat products as well as eggs rank among the most important and sensible product groups in our METRO Cash & Carry wholesale stores. Alongside absolute freshness and high quality, animal welfare is extremely important to us when selecting suppliers. Our customers are also placing increasing value on ethical husbandry. They want to know where the food we sell them comes from and what conditions it was produced under.

Sustainable fish

For our professional customers, fish is a highly essential and delicate product. Meanwhile fish is a fluctuant natural resource that has to be used sustainably. To ensure the long-term protection of fish stocks, METRO Cash & Carry has developed its Procurement Policy for Fish and Seafood. With this METRO Cash & Carry takes responsibility at various stages of the value chain and develops measures to promote responsible fishing in accordance with our customers’ needs, nature and people working in the seafood industry.

Sustainable palm oil

Palm oil is an ingredient of many products, e.g. sweets, bakery goods, margarine and cosmetics. It is extracted from oil palms that only grow in the tropics, where wrongly implemented cultivation can have negative side effects for local populations or the environment. Certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) is produced by palm oil plantations which have been independently audited and found to comply with the globally agreed environmental standards devised by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). These sustainability criteria relate to social, environmental and economic good practice.

As a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil RSPO, METRO Cash & Carry committed to integrating the organisation’s principles into their management system and communicating them to customers and suppliers. RSPO actively promotes sustainable cultivation methods and shows alternatives to the use of non-sustainable palm oil.

Working towards Zero Deforestation

One of the drivers of climate change is deforestation – the loss of natural forest and vegetation as a result of conversion to agriculture or other non-forest land use for instance. Deforestation is mainly driven by production of soy, palm, cattle and paper/wood.

METRO Cash & Carry trades products containing these commodities. Within the supply chains of these products where we are part of, we have taken actions to minimise and stop deforestation. With our paper and wood, updated palm oil and new soy sourcing policy and action plan, we continue to take action to work with our suppliers, the entire supply chain, other wholesalers/retailers and NGO’s towards zero deforestation. We are currently also working on a meat policy, that will be implemented later this year.

Health and nutrition policy

Every day METRO strives to empower its more than 24 million customers to make healthier choices for their businesses and families by offering a growing range of reformulated, ultra-fresh and organic oriented products, providing clear and easily accessible information about nutrients and ingredients, and by leveraging digital solutions. To achieve this goal, we have developed clear guidelines and targets.

Employee with Fish in his Hand
Delivery Truck being filled

By establishing modern logistics infrastructures and supporting suppliers and manufacturers in safeguarding quality as well as social and environmental standards, we take systematic steps to prevent food from spoiling and being wasted - an issue that is increasingly becoming the focus of public discussions. Our initiatives aim at improving the output and quality of fresh produce and reducing food waste. This, in turn, contributes to improving the farmers' income situation.

Optimised purchasing strategy 

METRO Cash & Carry has been using the concept of the international trading offices since 2009. Meanwhile, 4 such trading offices and 1 sourcing office exist worldwide. These locations bundle the sourcing of specific assortments and focus on core competencies for the procurement of the respective products.

The Valencia Trading Office, for example, is responsible for sourcing fruits and vegetables while the Concarneau Trading Office focuses on the sourcing of fresh fish and seafood. In 2015 the Valencia office has been certified according to the International Featured Standard (IFS) which attests a particularly high standard regarding food quality and food safety compliance.

Local collection centres 

We also aim to contribute to sustainable procurement structures in developing countries by setting up local collection centres for farmers. Now we run 5 "farmer collection centres", one each in Karnataka (Malur), Andhra Pradesh (Vontimamidi), Punjab (Malerkotla), Maharashtra (Manchar) and West Bengal (Barasat). As the centres are close to the areas where produce is grown, vegetables are now delivered to stores in less than 15 hours after it was picked. This process previously took 36 hours. As a result, customers can buy high-quality vegetables, which minimises the amount of food going off on its way from the field to the store. Additionally, METRO Cash & Carry India opened so-called Fish Consolidation Points in Kameswaram and Malpe. The freshest catch of local fishermen is carefully iced and packed at the Consolidation Points every morning. The complete consignment is transported the very same day to METRO Cash & Carry wholesale distribution centre. Both Consolidation Points are highly beneficial for METRO Cash & Carry customers as well as for local fishermen. On the one hand, METRO Cash & Carry India has quick and reliable access to fish suppliers along both India’s coasts and saves transportation costs, as the catch is collected at a logistical junction. Furthermore, fishermen comply with the company’s quality standards and therefore customers can be sure to buy seafood products that are fresh and consistently available. On the other hand, the fishermen profit from an assured market, reasonable and guaranteed payments and outstanding technical expertise through METRO Cash & Carry’s training programmes. 

De-ale Noastre

To meet the increasing demand for Romanian products and to support local vegetable producers, METRO Cash & Carry Romania has started the De-ale Noastre programme in 2012. The goal of the programme is to ensure a sustainable agriculture and increase the farmers' productivity through different measures:

  • Assistance throughout the production process provided by a METRO Cash & Carry specialist
  • Harvesting recommendations
  • Set-up of collection centres
  • Harvest distribution in Romanian METRO Cash & Carry stores under the brand name "De-ale Noastre"

The first phase of the programme was implemented in 2012 in the Calafat region. In 2014, around 100 local producers from all over the country have become De-ale noastre suppliers.

Vietnamese Vegetable Market

METRO Cash & Carry is an international company which cooperates with suppliers worldwide. To ensure that the goods are produced in accordance with international standards, we set up supplier support and development programmes. Our fundamental goals here are to ensure the long-term supply of high-quality products, boost the local economy and strengthen business relationships with local producers and farmers.

As an international wholesale company, METRO Cash & Carry acts as an interface between producers, suppliers and customers, bringing together supply and demand in the stores. This bears a special responsibility for society and the environment. Therefore, social and environmental standards along the entire supply chain are of high importance in our daily business. We are part of several international initiatives concerning social and environmental standards.

UN Global Impact

METRO is a member of the world’s largest initiative for corporate social responsibility - the UN Global Compact. As part of this network, the company works on improving the handling of risks and opportunities in the field of sustainable business management. Here, we also share practices across the world and across all industries with more than 13,000 companies from 161 countries.

Farmer in Greenhouse
Indian Clothes in Store

Starting in 2008, METRO Sourcing has set up a system requesting all suppliers of non-food imports (goods for resale) to provide for a verified social standard audit report or certification of the production facilities used for the production of these goods in a risk country.

METRO Cash & Carry follows this systematic approach in order to include all suppliers and production facilities for non-food own brands (goods for resale) in a social compliance system and to achieve acceptable social standards according to the core norms of the ILO.


In a next step, own brand primary food suppliers and producers will also be included in a social compliance system. As METRO is one of the founding companies of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI), METRO Cash & Carry also committed to improving working conditions in the international supply chain.

Environmental standards

For us, environmental protection goes beyond our own stores and locations. We strive to have a positive environmental impact on our suppliers and the manufacturing process to encourage environmentally friendly products.

METRO Cash & Carry participates in the following initiatives: