We act with the future in mind
In a globalised economy, responsible activity and reliable values are more important than ever. That is our conviction.
As a family business operating internationally, we have deliberately geared our corporate policy to the long term. Our fundamental plans and decisions are based on sustainability. In this way we hope to ensure that the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe will remain successful and that we will leave an intact environment for future generations – ecologically, socially and economically.
Through our business activities we have an effect on the living and working conditions of our employees and also on our customers, the environment and the economy. This is reflected in the principles by which we operate, as well as in the four fields of activity which form our main focus: Nutrition + Products, Employees + Social Responsibility, Environment + Resources and Society + Culture.
STRATEGY + OPERATIONAL PRINCIPLES
The Stern-Wywiol Gruppe is able to look back on successful business development over the past years. This is not only due to specialist competence and appropriate responses to the needs of markets, customers and consumers; it is also the result of strong faith in our corporate values. Based on trust and integrity, our worldwide activities have earned our companies and affiliates an excellent reputation in the markets in which we operate. It is our declared objective to maintain this reputation and strengthen it still further.
Our corporate principles and the values anchored in them are binding for all the companies and sites in our group. The same applies to our Code of Conduct, which we follow globally. We comply with local laws and regulations conscientiously, and also adhere to international quality, environmental and occupational health and safety standards. We expect the same of our suppliers and partners. The following are our most important management principles:
Compliance with legal regulations
We conduct our business transactions legally, and adhere strictly to the laws of the countries in which we operate.
We do not seek competitive advantages in the markets through unfair or illegal practices.
Protection of financial assets
We have economic responsibility for the group as a whole. We handle the company’s proprietary information, financial assets and resources with care.
Our employees can rely on a safe and motivating working environment.
We conduct our business transactions openly, honestly and correctly. Our principles are based on fair cooperation.
In all our activities we ensure that our products and production processes meet the requirements of sustainable development – socially, economically, and in respect of environmental policy.
You can find more information here: Code of Conduct
NUTRITION + PRODUCTS
We develop and produce a wide diversity of functional systems for foods, food supplements, animal nutrition and cosmetics at our various specialist companies in Germany and in applications laboratories and production facilities around the globe. We are aware of the responsibility this involves day after day and worldwide. We take extensive precautions to maintain the excellent quality of our products and processes, and ensure that the goods delivered to our customers are in perfect condition at all times.
An unbroken line of traceability
Our product solutions are subject to permanent quality control. All raw materials undergo stringent testing at our own facilities or at outside laboratories. Not until we are sure they meet our strict quality requirements are they released for production. In the production process too, we maintain the highest safety and hygiene standards. An unbroken line of traceability is a “must” at all times for batches of both raw materials and finished products.
Vitamin and mineral premixes to combat malnutrition
One of the specialist firms in our group is Mühlenchemie. As the international market leader in the field of flour improvement, the company makes an important contribution to winning the battle against malnutrition. Largely because of an undersupply of vitamins and minerals, the populations of many countries around the world – and especially women and children – suffer from severe deficiency diseases. Fortification of staple foods such as flour is an effective means of preventing this. Mühlenchemie has therefore set itself the task of developing suitable vitamin and mineral premixes that meet the stringent requirements of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The company also underlines its commitment in this field by supporting the Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI). This international alliance of universities, public institutions and private enterprise combats vitamin and mineral deficiency in the developing and emerging countries. Its aim is to save lives and promote the health of the population. Mühlenchemie also feels committed to this objective.
EMPLOYEES + SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Our employees do excellent work and ensure our success day in, day out. So their satisfaction is especially important to us. Initial and ongoing training (for example, through our SternAkademie), their health and wellbeing and also diversity and transparency are all part of our holistic approach. We are continuing to develop the overall conditions in our company in this direction.
Initial and ongoing training – more than just an afterthought
All education starts with curiosity, and to our mind that has nothing to do with age. In our company, it starts with a diversity of initial career opportunities for young people and continues with a comprehensive range of further education leading to specialist and personal qualification. With a wide range of seminars, our SternAkademie addresses employees from all divisions and career levels. Besides our standard courses in communication, language trainings, in raw materials and products, we also offer individual training events and sophisticated career promotion measures. Moreover, we regularly invite the people in our company to seek inspiration outside their normal sphere of activities – for example lectures by a diversity of outside experts and fascinating works of art in our buildings and our company’s own gallery. We are proud, too, of our FlourWorld Museum in Wittenburg, Germany – a very special place where we tell the age-old story of flour.
Health and wellbeing – taking care all round
We take active measures to promote the wellbeing of our employees – from the start of their career to retirement. For those who retire, our SternRente in Germany offers an attractive supplement to the statutory old age pension. We help to reconcile a career with family life by offering different models for working hours and the option of mobile working for part of the time. Our preventive health care includes well-filled fruit baskets, discounts at fitness studios and participation in public sporting events. In the context of our company health promotion scheme, employees and their relatives can also take advantage of independent counselling if work-related, personal or psychological problems make their daily life difficult. Activities such as family days, company celebrations, team-building events and our traditional Christmas Bakery for employees’ children help to boost a general feeling of wellbeing.
Diversity is part of our culture
We operate globally. Our international group of companies employs people of a host of different nationalities and from all the continents. So diversity is part of our everyday life and culture. What does that mean for us? Our employees are not all alike, but to us they are all equally valuable. We underlined that in 2018 by signing the “Diversity Charter”. The initiative seeks to promote the acknowledgement, appreciation and inclusion of diversity in the culture of German companies – irrespective of gender, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or philosophy, disability, age, sexual orientation or identity.
Transparency – we encourage frank and open dialogue
The principle at all the sites in our group of companies is that of short hierarchies and open doors. Feedback and an active exchange of opinion are important to us. One of the ways in which we encourage this is by holding regular events that permit an exchange of information. Employee surveys and annual interviews also help to cultivate our special culture of trust. Across all companies and sites, we inform our employees through our international house magazine SternIntern and the newsletter PersonalIntern.
ENVIRONMENT + RESOURCES
Protection of the environment and conservation of resources are among the declared objectives of the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe. Not only do we adhere strictly to all the relevant laws and regulations; we also take active steps towards possible ecological and economic optimisation. Moreover, we seek to safeguard our competitiveness in the long term through sustainable climate protection and the efficient use of energy. Wherever possible we try to avoid waste. Where waste occurs, we choose the disposal method with the least environmental impact.
Strengthening employee responsibility
In order to strengthen our employees’ sense of responsibility, we organise regular training in environmental protection, occupational safety, hygiene and similar topics as part of our qualification programmes. In our cooperation with suppliers and business partners too, we ensure that they act responsibly in the sense of sustainable economic activity and adhere to current environmental laws and international standards.
SOCIETY + CULTURE
Social responsibility has a long tradition in the Stern-Wywiol Gruppe, supported by the commitment of the group’s founder Volkmar Wywiol and his family. The Stern-Wywiol Gruppe aims to be a good and conscientious employer. We take our responsibility towards our employees very seriously, and attach great importance to respect and consideration for the customs and traditions of local communities.
We’re good neighbours – wherever we are
It is part of our corporate philosophy to act as “good neighbours” by giving help without fuss where needed. Examples include sponsorships for children in poorer regions and donations to organisations such as the Hamburg food bank. We also make it easy for our employees to show social commitment, for example through active teamwork or participation in charity runs for a good cause.
Transfer of knowledge: interactive exhibition at the FlourWorld Museum
One of the main pillars of our social commitment is the FlourWorld Museum in Wittenburg, Germany. This unique interactive exhibition is an invitation to millers and friends of flour and bread from all the corners of the earth, to discover the cultural history of flour as a vitally important staple food with all the senses. The heart of the exhibition is the “Sackotheque”, which now houses more than 3,400 flour sacks from over 130 countries. The museum also offers a historical tour that starts in the Neolithic period, and which we intend to build up gradually into a “forum for cereal science”. By the way, since 2017 the FlourWorld Museum has been privileged to present Germany’s only replica of the world-famous glacier mummy Ötzi the Iceman. In the well-preserved hem of his coat, researchers found two grains of einkorn, the earliest cultivated cereal, and the contents of his stomach revealed traces of cereals, too.