ALDI celebrates World Banana Day and looks back on the 2020 progress in working towards more sustainable banana supply chains
Did you know that the ALDI South Group sells huge amounts of bananas and it is one of our most popular products? So on World Banana day on 21st April we thought it would be great to tell you about some of our successes and achievements from the past twelve months in protecting workers and the environment in our banana supply chains. Our aim is to focus our work on high-priority supply chains and direct suppliers; this means we have the most positive impact where it is most needed. We are also going beyond our own sphere of influence by collaborating with multi-stakeholder initiatives to enable industry-wide change.
In 2020, the ALDI South Group signed the voluntary living wage commitment by the German Society for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit - GIZ), and became a member of the “Working Group on Living Income and Living Wages”. In cooperation with other German retailers, we aim to support a decent standard of living for banana farm workers, starting in Ecuador. This joint project specifically supports the development towards living wages through targeted actions and sourcing practices.
Since February 2021, we started to conduct 38 additional producer assessments on banana farms in Latin America. These audits are evaluating whether workers’ rights are being upheld on the farms we source from. In addition to the issues of compliance with social standards, the focus of these producer assessments is also on water consumption on farms as well as on assessing living wage gaps.
All suppliers that provide us with bananas to sell in our US and European stores have to undergo a Corporate Responsibility Supplier Evaluation (CRSE). We evaluate the corporate responsibility capacities and efforts of these food suppliers and our aim is to increasingly integrate sustainability-related metrics into our buying decisions.
Our engagement in multi-stakeholder initiatives:
The ALDI SOUTH Group is part of IDH’s Living Wage Steering Committee to address overall strategic issues related to IDH’s Roadmap on Living Wages and oversees its development. As part of our engagement, we have liaised with some of our key business partners in the banana supply chain to test the application of tools developed by IDH, such as the Salary Matrix.
We are involved in the World Banana Forum’s subgroup on ‘Covering Costs of Sustainable Production’, which aims to study the distribution of value and enable pre-competitive collaboration between all actors along the global banana supply chain. In particular, the subgroup seeks to carry out and support initiatives for the promotion and implementation of living wages as a crucial component of costs for sustainable production.
We are proud on last year’s achievements and we will continue to work hard to accelerate progress in protecting workers and the environment in our banana supply chain.