Aldi out of step with its ethical customers 

Aldi (Waterford, Connecticut)

Aldi (Waterford, Connecticut)

Image by JJBers

 poll commissioned by Oxfam and published today. 
  
Out of all respondents, Aldi shoppers believed these issues were more important than customers of other supermarkets. Analysis by Oxfam shows that out of six major UK supermarkets, Aldi ranks bottom for its public policies and practices to ensure workers around the world had safe working conditions and wages for at least a basic standard of living. 

The poll also found that nearly half of Aldi customers (48%) would consider switching to a different supermarket if they knew it had policies and practices to ensure workers around the world had safe working conditions and decent wages. 

Aldi is placed bottom of a scorecard Oxfam launched earlier this year, which assessed the publicly available food supply chain policies and practices of six of the biggest supermarkets in the UK – Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl. 

The scorecard assesses supermarkets against four themes: workers, transparency, small-scale farmers and women. Aldi’s current overall score is one per cent. Aldi were the only supermarket to score zero in the workers’ theme, which assesses the extent to which supermarkets have put in place measures to ensure workers’ rights are respected in their food supply chains. 

Matthew Spencer, Oxfam Director of Campaigns and Policy said “The results show that Aldi’s customers care more than other supermarket customers about better working conditions and decent pay for overseas workers. 

“None of the big UK supermarkets are doing enough to root out the hidden suffering behind our food supply, but unfortunately Aldi is bottom of our able and a long way below supermarkets like Tesco.” 

The polling found amongst Aldi shoppers: 

-        87 per cent of think it’s important that Aldi has practices and policies that ensure workers around the world who produce food for Aldi earn enough for at least a basic standard of living 
-        88 per cent of think it’s important that Aldi has practices and policies that ensure workers around the world who produce food for Aldi don’t have inhumane working conditions 
-        88 per cent of think that it’s important that Aldi has practices and policies that workers around the world who produce food for Aldi are treated fairly 
-        48 per cent of would consider switching to another supermarket if they knew they had policies and practices in place to ensure workers around the world, particularly in developing countries, had safe working conditions and decent wages 
-        54 per cent of think that farmers and workers from developing countries who produce food for UK supermarkets should receive more than 10 percent of the end till price. More than a quarter (26 per cent) say they should receive more than 25 per cent of the price. Oxfam’s research across 12 common food products shows that farmers and workers currently receive on average less than six per cent. 

Millions of small-scale farmers and workers around the world who produce food for UK supermarkets don’t earn enough for at least a basic standard of living, are trapped in poverty and are going hungry as a result. Oxfam’s research into food supply chains has shown that workers face human rights abuses ranging from forced pregnancy tests and exposure to pesticides to verbal abuse and no access to toilets. 

Spencer continued “We’d encourage Aldi to seriously raise their game, so that they can reassure us that they are doing what they can to drive out suffering and hunger from their supply chains. This presents a win-win opportunity for Aldi – by committing to changes that benefit their poorest workers they can reinforce the loyalty of their customers.” 

Ends

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