Worldwide Enhancement of Social Quality Programme (WE Programme)


The WE Programme is a comprehensive supplier training programme. The aim of the programme is to sustainably improve working conditions in factories in the consumer goods industry in developing and newly industrialising countries. WE is one of Tchibo’s core initiatives for promoting respect for human rights in the Tchibo supply chain and improving working conditions. Business aspects such as quality, productivity and efficiency improve through correlation with improvements in working conditions, such as working hours and pay.

Short description

Instead of wagging a finger at shortcomings, WE builds trust and creates motivation for change through dialogue between retailers and their suppliers, and within the factories. Dialogue is key to effective change processes and thus to the implementation of social standards. WE’s approach to dialogue is based on ways of finding solutions and managing conflict. The aim is to help various parties to find solutions for problems through dialogue. A number of factors make WE successful, but what is crucial is that the dialogue is included in every aspect of the programme and that all key participants are involved.


Labour and social standards have been improved through the WE dialogue approach. Social indicators have improved and economic performance has also been boosted because both productivity and quality were improved. This showed that social standards and competitiveness do not conflict with each other. In the pilot phase it also became clear that payment of a living wage and the guaranteeing of freedom of association cannot be achieved solely by means of training in the factory; instead, these issues must be addressed in a social dialogue. In connection with expansion of the WE Programme Tchibo has therefore stepped up its initiatives in these areas and is working with trade unions and non-governmental organisations on improvements.

Worldwide Enhancement of Social Quality Programme (WE Programme)

Country / Region:
Current: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Ethiopia, India, Turkey, Viet Nam

Concluded: Laos and Thailand

Project running time:
Piloting program: 2007 – 2011

Since the completion of the pilot phase, Tchibo GmbH has extended the WE programme to all strategic suppliers.

Project partners:
The WE Programme was piloted (2007 – 2011) through a development partnership between Tchibo GmbH and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Since the conclusion of the pilot phase, Tchibo has extended the WE Programme to all strategic suppliers, Local organisations.

Leader of the WE Programme:
Ms Aida Brito
Tchibo GmbH
Überseering 17
22297 Hamburg


WE. Act together!
© Tchibo

WE. Act together!
© Tchibo

As of: March 2018