Reinhart has been a key player in the agricultural commodities business for over 230 years. The company’s role in the market is to deliver lint cotton supplied by ginners to yarn spinners. Fulfilling the very beginning of a global value chain that touches all main markets. The end products, such as our favorite pair of jeans, a nice dress or the bedcover that warms us during the night, are integral part of our lives. Cotton is close to us, every day.
Sustainability is embedded in the Reinhart culture. Perhaps due to our intimate relationship to cotton as a natural fiber. We discuss global weather conditions, such as hurricanes in the U.S. or the monsoon season in India, and how these events may affect the cotton crops and qualities in the field. We compare cotton against competing products, such as man-made polyester fibers, and we reflect on how a natural product remains competitive and the first choice for retailers and end consumers.
At Reinhart we understand sustainability as our effort to remain competitive without restricting the opportunities for future generations. Our vision is a sustainable and fair value chain from production to customer. This is what we call the Reinhart Sustainable Impact, an initiative that will guide us for the years to come.
Motivation, implementation and communication
Reinhart believes that principles of responsible corporate governance are crucial. The company is active in an international and rapidly changing environment that requires all stakeholders to adhere to defined principles and ethical standards. Reinhart outlines its values and principles for responsible business practices in its Code of Conduct, which is valid for all of its offices and operations. Employees must treat business partners fairly and strictly separate the interests of Reinhart from private interests. Reinhart follows all applicable laws and regulations in countries where it operates. It promotes responsible leadership and management by fostering principles of responsible corporate governance such as transparency, accountability, responsibility, openness, and integrity, and rejects any form of corruption, money-laundering, and terrorism-financing.
Our economic impact is built on long-term, trusting relationships with suppliers, customers, and any other business partners. All employees are mutually bound to the values of integrity, reliability, commitment, and entrepreneurship. Ultimately this commitment is reflected in our long-term business success and our compliance with applicable regulations, and it guides us in our daily decision-making.
We listen to our stakeholders and support a constructive dialogue on labor and human rights. We are certain of cotton’s vital role in millions of jobs worldwide, be it for smallholder farmers in Africa, where cotton is picked by hand, or for highly industrialized farms, such as Brazil, with high-tech machines that perform the field and labor.
Reinhart’s longtime, knowledgeable employees at the Swiss headquarters and across the various subsidiaries are proof of our joint commitment to attract and retain staff. We also take an active role in supporting various social community projects, the arts, and sports through the Paul Reinhart Foundation. At the regional level in Winterthur and through a global commitment to our sourcing regions through programs such as Aiducation which has allowed us to support education for young Africans over the past eight years.
Reinhart supports sustainable cotton and we stand behind all efforts to promote best practices throughout the value chain. We are a proud member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and Textile Exchange. We trade certified cotton under the BCI mass balance system, CmiA certified cotton companies, and cotton certified as Organic and/or Fairtrade. As one of the world’s largest merchant of Organic cotton, Reinhart contributed to the development of this market over the past 15 years, including through its existing projects and gins in Africa.
As a truly global player we are active in many countries, some of which are difficult to operate in. We recognize that as a merchant who acts as an intermediary between suppliers and buyers, we may not always be able to exercise a significant influence over the activities of others, and sometimes we are confronted with conflicting requirements. However, this never serves as an excuse to fail in our commitment to good business conduct and good corporate citizenship in a global context. We always seek to honor internationally recognized principles of responsible corporate governance within the realm of the resources that are available to us.