Focus on Raw Materials

We have identified raw materials for which sustainability is not always fully guaranteed per se or which are of particular relevance for our stakeholders.

The inquiries received by our consumer service clearly show us the increasing interest of consumers in more sustainable consumption. Raw materials of animal origin and raw materials that typically come from ecologically sensitive regions or regions in which compliance with fair working conditions is uncertain or non-transparent are of particular relevance.

We have set particularly high sustainability requirements for certain raw materials.

Accordingly, we have defined requirements for improving social and environmental compatibility for certain raw materials in the Dr. Oetker Food Standard in addition to the requirements from the Supplier Manual and the Code of Conduct for Suppliers.


 Dr. Oetker uses different types of cocoa and chocolate. The company usually procures these raw materials already processed and therefore not directly from the growing countries. To ensure that international labor standards are complied with, since 2018, only sustainably grown and UTZ-certified cocoa has been purchased in Germany for all products manufactured or purchased. The changeover should take place worldwide by the end of 2020. This is primarily intended to rule out the problem of forced labor and child labor and to ensure fair wages are paid.

Palm Oil

Due to its properties, palm oil is a very popular raw material: It is tasteless, heat-stable, has a long shelf life and does not have to be chemically hardened, for example, to get the desired consistency. Therefore, the global demand for palm oil has risen sharply in recent years. In the past, this has resulted in an increase in the areas under cultivation, especially in the main tropical cultivation areas such as Malaysia or Indonesia through illegal slash and burning of rain forests – combined with negative effects on the environment, biodiversity and the local population.

In addition to the RSPO certification, we have increasingly looked at possible alternatives to the use of palm oil. We have exchanged palm oil for other vegetable oils in a large number of our products, for example Vitalis Knusper Mueslis, Pizza Ristorante and Pizza Tradizionale. In the case of other products and raw materials, however, it is not so easy to exchange for quality reasons or due to insufficient availability on the part of the suppliers. A complete switch to other oils does not appear to be a sensible alternative from an ecological perspective; the problem would be exacerbated by the need to expand acreage for other types of oil. In addition, for many of the oil types in question, such as coconut oil or shea fat, there are still no standards comparable to the RSPO. This means that it is currently difficult to assess the possible ecological and also social consequences in the producing countries. For these reasons, we continue to try to keep the consumption of palm oil as low as possible, but currently consider complete avoidance to be neither feasible nor sensible.

Meat and Sausage Products as well as Eggs and Egg Products

The Dr. Oetker Food Standard defines various requirements with regard to animal and species protection: We have been purchasing chicken, eggs and egg products exclusively from barn farming since 2008. In addition, we expressly refer our suppliers who deliver meat or meat products to the EU-wide ban on the use of antibiotics as fattening aids or fattening accelerators, which has been in force throughout the EU since 2006.

We are also working on a future-proof concept that aims to improve transparency within the supply chains and reduce their complexity. At the same time, the concept aims to further improve animal welfare in the production of the raw materials used by Dr. Oetker. This includes the pork processed at the German production sites being almost entirely quality meat certified by the Qualität und Sicherheit GmbH (QS). Through the QS system, the meat is tested for food safety and compliance with animal husbandry standards across all stages of production and processing, some of which also go beyond legal requirements.

Dr. Oetker has set itself the goal for 2025 of exclusively purchasing chicken meat for its products sold in Europe, which at least meets the criteria of the European Broiler Initiative. These criteria go beyond the legal requirements. For example, a maximum stocking density of 30 kilograms per square meter is allowed, as opposed to 42 kilograms per square meter according to European law.


With the Dr. Oetker Food Standard the company formulates clear requirements for the suppliers of the tuna that we use for our pizzas. We limit ourselves to fishing methods that minimize what is known as by-catch. This includes, for example, not using special fishing equipment (so-called fish aggregation devices, FADs) and dolphin-friendly fishing methods. This contributes significantly to the protection of the health of dolphins, which, without appropriate measures, are often injured when caught. Dr. Oetker therefore demands corresponding certificates from its suppliers (dolphin-free and FAD-free).

In order to promote sustainable fish management, Dr. Oetker works with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and uses appropriately certified tuna for individual products. The MSC manages the world's best-known ecological certification and labeling program for sustainable fishing. The MSC has meanwhile expanded its criteria to include social aspects. In addition to the ecological standards, every MSC-certified fishery must now specify which regulations and mechanisms it uses to exclude forced and child labor. By offering and buying products that carry the blue MSC seal, companies and consumers are supporting responsible fisheries around the globe.

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