Product Responsibility

Product responsibility means three things to Migros: Products should offer the greatest possible customer benefit, comply with stringent safety standards and not be harmful to people or the environment.

Migros is serious about the safety of its food and products and makes a big commitment to ensuring that they are suitable for their intended purpose and do not pose a health risk or pollute the environment. To this end, Migros continuously adapts the corresponding processes to the latest developments and legal requirements and communicates transparently with its customers. Alongside the issues of food safety and traceability, Migros made a special commitment to the introduction of bee-friendly pesticides and the procurement of wood from legal and sustainable sources in 2014.

Guaranteed food safety

With various food safety measures, Migros ensures that its food is suitable for consumption and will not impair the consumer's health in any way.

To ensure perfectly safe food, the Migros Group applies the standards certified by the retailer and producer organisation The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). Most domestic and foreign suppliers of processed foods are certified according to a standard recognised by the GFSI, as are the company's own industrial enterprises. The standard sets requirements in areas such as production hygiene or product safety in relation to contamination through pollutants or allergens. In the reporting year, the implementation rate among suppliers of risky products was 66% in Migros Industry, 65% in Commerce and 62% in Cooperative Retailing.

In 2014, Migros conducted around 20'000 product tests and recalled 12 products.

Migros also has its products monitored on a continuous basis. Swiss Quality Testing Services (SQTS) subjects the products to risk-based tests as part of self-regulation. Using a modern analysis method, SQTS checks the quality and safety of the products and whether they conform to the applicable laws. In 2014, Migros conducted around 20'000 product tests; 12 products had to be recalled due to deficiencies.

Sprouts – a risky product

From a food safety perspective, sprouts are sensitive products, as their seeds can be contaminated with pathogens and they are often consumed raw. To avoid contamination, strict hygiene requirements must be met during sprout production. With the aim of ensuring safe sprout production and establishing uniform hygiene standards, Migros has created a sprouts policy based on the legal requirements and knowledge of the industry.

For all suppliers of sprout seeds and seedless sprouts that are sold in the restaurants and takeaways, hypermarkets and specialist markets of the Migros Cooperatives, the policy contains binding rules regarding procurement, hygiene, storage, transportation and crisis management. It also sets microbiological requirements for sprout seeds and sprouts. Implementation of the policy is monitored by SQTS in the form of annual audits at sprout suppliers and with risk-based inspections of sprout products in Migros stores.

Tracing the origin

The traceability of products is a key component of consumer protection. It makes it possible to track a product through all production, processing and distribution stages. For traceability, it is important that at least the direct supplier and the direct buyer are known and recorded at each stage of the food supply chain.

Due to its wide range of products and large number of suppliers and producers, traceability is an important safety tool for Migros. With Migros' own industry, it has unique control over the origin of raw materials for a large part of its product range. To ensure that the raw materials used in Industry and in processed products in Commerce can be traced, Migros maintains a database of 11'105 suppliers and producers that supply the Migros Group with products.

The number of recorded suppliers and the amount of available information about the supply chain are increasing continuously. The database contains information about the value-added chain of the products, from the suppliers right through to the final processing stage. If required, Migros can quickly trace which companies are involved in the production of a product and take damage limitation measures for specific incidents. Migros currently knows 58% of the value-added chains.

Migros has set itself the target of producing all its own-brand textiles in an environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and traceable way by the end of 2017.

Textiles: environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and traceable thanks to the Eco label

Migros has set itself the target of producing all its own-brand textiles in an environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and traceable way by the end of 2017. The aim is also for all textiles of Migros own brands to adhere to the strict Eco criteria in the same period. The Eco label stands for seamless documentation and traceability across all stages of the textile production process and ensures that no critical substances are used.

Compliance with the Migros Eco requirements is checked by independent third parties on behalf of Migros. All participants in the textile value-added chain are known. The standard aims to ensure that all stages of production – from yarn to finishing – are documented with details of the chemical products and the production processes that are used. Thanks to its commitment to sustainably produced textiles under the Eco programme, Migros has extensive knowledge of the value-added chain and its textile suppliers. By showing its suppliers how to handle harmful substances and chemicals, for example, and providing staff training, Migros helps to improve the relationships with suppliers and ensure traceability.

Protection of bees

The numbers of bees around the world is falling drastically. Around a third of all food crops depend on pollination by bees. Experts believe that chemicals used in pesticides are playing a part in the death of bees, especially when the chemicals are not used correctly. Three insecticides that are harmful to bees have been banned in the EU and Switzerland since 2013. In addition, Greenpeace has classified six other substances as being particularly bee-critical.  

Migros decided to intervene quickly in 2014, banning all insecticides and pesticides which contain active substances that are harmful to bees. Ten products containing substances classed as critical were removed from the range, or the formula of the products was changed to non-harmful substances. Even if private use of pesticides tends to be low in comparison to professional use, Migros has sent out a clear message by changing its range and is offering its customers alternatives.

In 2014, Migros banned all insecticides and pesticides containing active substances that are harmful to bees.

In addition, Migros and the agricultural organisation IP Suisse (a partner of its TerraSuisse label) have agreed that all IP-Suisse farmers will stop using substances classed as bee-critical from 2015 onwards. Together with representatives from industry and environmental associations and research institutions, Migros is participating in discussions on a national pesticide reduction plan, which the government is preparing by 2016.

Migros also promotes the habitats of wild bees and honey bees with bee meadows in Migros Golfparks and bee hives on the flat roofs of Migros' operating centres. Engagement Migros, the development fund of the Migros Group, supports two projects that promote healthy bees: the development and implementation of Switzerland's first certified beekeeping course, which was launched at the end of 2014, and a documentation project on bee health, aimed at beekeepers, horticulturists, farmers and forest managers.

Wood from clean sources

The world's forests are at risk due to overuse and destruction. Alongside the expansion of agriculture and infrastructure, the illegal wood trade is one of the main causes of deforestation. It is estimated that 6% to 8% of all wood imported into Switzerland is illegal.

In 2014, Migros established a risk management system to ensure that no wood, paper or pulp is procured from illegal or controversial sources.

In 2013, the EU passed a law aimed at preventing the importation and sale of illegal wood. Switzerland also intends to adopt the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which requires all market participants to ensure that wood originates from legal sources.

Migros is aiming to implement the legal requirements as soon as possible. To this end, it established a risk management system based on the requirements of EUTR in 2014, which ensures that no wood, paper or pulp is procured from illegal or controversial sources. The system went into regular operation at the end of the reporting year.

Under this management system, suppliers must provide proof that all wood and paper/pulp products are legal. The products are then automatically categorised as low, moderate or high risk. For products with high to moderate risk, all relevant documents are checked in detail. Low-risk products, on the other hand, are subjected to spot-checks. Individual measures such as external audits or certifications are conducted for non-compliant products.

Related topics

New privacy policy

Migros is asking customers who use an online service such as M-Connect or a Migros webshop to agree to the new privacy policy. This will benefit customers in the medium to long term in the form of highly personalised information and relevant products and services.

Clear rules for advertising

The Federation of Migros Cooperatives (FMC) agreed principles for responsible marketing communications back in 2013. The policy applies to supermarkets, specialist markets, Migros catering as well as the FMC and the regional cooperatives. With the new principles, Migros is ensuring that marketing communications between the company and its customers are fair and respectful.


In 2013, Migros made a promise to increase the proportion of particularly biodegradable washing and cleaning products in its range to 80% by the end of 2018. The level had already reached 76% in the reporting year. The promise applies to the whole product range, not just high-priced niche products.


Product Responsibility (pdf, 28.15 KB)