We are committed to respecting human rights and improving living and working conditions throughout our supply chains. Our commitment encompasses any adverse impact on human rights that we might cause, contribute to or are directly linked to.
In order to make a real difference, we have established a wide range of partnerships with organisations including suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, governments, and NGOs. Together we can improve the lives of workers and their families in many different ways; these include promoting better working and living conditions for workers and their families, paying fair wages, empowering women, clamping down on child labour and increasing the transparency in our supply chains.
We are convinced that long-term success is only possible if human rights are acknowledged and respected. These rights should never be negotiable and apply equally to each one of us. Our commitment to respect all human rights encompasses any adverse impact on human rights that we might cause, contribute to or are directly linked to.
We expect our employees, our management and our business partners and other suppliers to respect human rights and to ensure that business activities comply with our human rights and environmental standards and policies.
We are aware that human rights violations are a global problem affecting every economy, industry and sector. Our approach is based upon understanding these complexities. We constantly assess our actual and potential impacts on human rights in order to prevent or mitigate the adverse impacts of our business or remediate where necessary. Based on our assessments we develop strategies and continually improve our processes and practices. We regularly review the alignment with the UNGPs and the effectiveness of our human rights approach.
In order to make a real difference, we have established a wide range of partnerships with organisations including suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, governments, and NGOs to increase our leverage and align our approaches on human rights due diligence. In addition to our partnerships, we acknowledge the important role of trade unions in protecting workers’ rights. We understand the potential negative impact if trade union activity is restricted or absent.
ALDI Social Standards in Production
Since 2010, the ALDI Social Standards in Production are our definitive standard for cooperation with business partners for our food and non-food products. These standards are contractually binding and prohibit human rights infringements, such as forced labour and child labour as well as discrimination in any form. They also underpin workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. We expect our partners to communicate and implement these requirements, in addition to all legal requirements, at production facilities and implement appropriate remediation measures.
We are committed to contributing to the prevention, identification and remediation of child labour in all areas of our operations, including our supply chains. We do not tolerate children being exposed to any risks in productions sites used for our products.
Our 'Child Labour Policy' explains our understanding of child labour in accordance with international standards. The policy states ALDI’s expectations of our business partners to ensure that child labour does not occur at production sites used for our products. It describes the process of what ALDI, together with local expert organisations and our business partners, will do, if a child is found at a production site.
Forced labour affects around 24.9 million people globally, which makes it a central concern for internationally operating businesses. We are aware of our responsibility to respect human rights, and have implemented requirements and policies to address forced labour and modern slavery in our supply chains. The ‘International Policy on Forced Labour’ expands on ALDI’s existing commitments to human rights and underlines ALDI’s stance that any forms of servitude or slavery, or forced, bonded, indentured, trafficked, or non-voluntary labour are unacceptable throughout ALDI’s supply chains. This concerns all relevant stakeholders including all suppliers, production facilities, service providers and contractors.
The ALDI SOUTH Group believes that all workers should be treated fairly. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination and strive for gender equality within supply chains where it is being undermined or at risk. We acknowledge our responsibility to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) number 5 to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls across our own business and supply chains.
We recognise that female workers may be disproportionately affected by adverse human rights impacts for a number of complex reasons, some of which are country- or sector-specific. As per our recent human rights risk assessment, some of the problems include
- unequal treatment
- sexual harassment
- risk of gender-specific discrimination regarding wages and working conditions
- disproportionate share of unpaid or ‘invisible’ labour
- work at a lower hierarchy level and with low remuneration
- separation from children
- limited access to land, education and/or personal bank accounts
Identifying raw materials and products with a high risk of gender-based discrimination was a key part of our human rights risk assessment in food supply chains. Our human rights impact assessments will also seek to understand the impact of our operations on women.
Living Wages & Living Incomes
Working towards the payment of living incomes and wages is an important step for creating a sustainable supply chain. They contribute towards the fight against poverty and child labour and the realisation of other human rights. We recognise that legal minimum wages are sometimes not sufficient to allow supply chain workers and their families a decent standard of living. We also understand that collective bargaining plays a valuable role in allowing sufficient wages to be determined and wage gaps to be closed, and support the adoption of measures by governments to promote collective bargaining between workers and employers.
We have developed our due diligence processes in alignment with the UNGPs and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. We understand our due diligence process is a process of continuous improvement.
Identification and prioritisation
The ALDI SOUTH Group strives to reduce any adverse impact on human rights that our business operations could have. We use activities such as risk assessments, audits, and supplier assessments to identify the actual and potential risks in our food and non-food supply chains.
Non-food supply chains
We have conducted a risk analysis in all our non-food supply chains to obtain an overview of potential human rights risks. Various sources, including the results of the ALDI Social Assessments (ASAs), third-party audits, assessments of our business partners, media screenings and the BSCI risk matrix, were used to identify the commodity groups that are most at risk of human rights violations. Additionally, we actively participate in a number of multi-stakeholder initiatives and other organisations, which allows us to gather further information. We repeat this analysis every two years to account for changes in economic, social and political conditions in production countries.
We understand that weak, or lack of existing legislation and a lack of compliance and minimum standards in some countries are not conducive to achieving just and favourable conditions of work and wages. Based on the risks in our production countries, we have classified Bangladesh and Myanmar as high-risk countries. For these countries, ALDI has implemented additional requirements that our business partners must adhere to.
Food supply chains
We regularly conduct human rights risk assessments to examine the human rights risks within our food and agriculture supply chains. The aim of these assessments is to identify any adverse impacts our company may have on human rights, gain insights into our actual impacts and understand how we may be involved through our own activities or as a result of our business relationships.
Besides considering national ALDI countries input on their national priorities where human rights violations are mostly likely to occur, internal expertise and dialogue with expert stakeholders support our identification process. Based on our risk assessments we understand that the greatest risk of severe human rights impacts lies at the raw material stage.
Combined with our risk assessment findings we determine our final list of priorities. The raw materials and product groups which present a high risk of adverse impacts on the enjoyment of human rights and are considered most important to the ALDI SOUTH Group:
|Raw material level||
|Production facility level||
Negative impacts on workers' rights, including; exceeding the permissible working hours, low wages, health and safety risks, workplace bullying, harassment and abuse, discrimination or restricted freedom of association.
Assessment of unequal treatment between men and women and the risk of possible gender-specific discrimination, for example, through gender-based abuse or discrimination with regard to wages and working conditions.
The risk that children undertake work that has an adverse impact on their health and development and the risk of work by children of mandatory school age.
Refers to modern forms of slavery and human trafficking, for example, by exerting pressure, withholding wages, or other forms of coercion.
|Water scarcity:||The risk that a country's demand for water exceeds its availability. This is accompanied by limited access to a water supply - for personal consumption and/or as a source of income.|
|Climate vulnerability:||Assessment of the current and future risk that a certain country is exposed to extreme weather events. In addition, the willingness of the private and public sectors to invest in the necessary modifications was also assessed.|
|Deforestation/land conversion:||The likelihood that products are cultivated on land which was recently a forest area with high conservation value, which may mean that forests were destroyed and land rights violated.|
Pollution caused by the manufacturing of products, which then leads to air and water contamination, (chemical) waste and noise pollution.
Human rights impact assessments
We are developing specific measures to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts identified during our risk assessment in 2018. ALDI has committed to carry out detailed human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) that follow a stringent methodological approach, including extensive background research and engagement with rightsholders. Through these studies, we strive to identify, understand and assess the potential and actual adverse impacts of our business activities on workers and other affected rightsholders, such as community members, smallholder farmers and women. We have published the results of three HRIAs in selected high-priority raw materials: Avocado, Brazil nuts and Coffee.
Integration and Action
In the future, we intend to increase our focus on preventing, mitigating and remedying negative impacts on human rights for those raw materials and products, which we classified as high-priority.
Mitigation and prevention of negative impacts
We will focus on the high-priority raw materials and products determined to be of highest risk of severe human rights impacts in the countries of origin, which are most relevant for the ALDI SOUTH Group. We are developing specific measures for preventing and mitigating these impacts. We have already implemented a variety of different measures to mitigate and prevent adverse impacts on human rights within our food and non-food supply chains, these include:
- Conducting own on-site visits for certain high-risk commodity groups through our ALDI Social Assessments (ASAs) and ALDI Producer Assessments (APAs)
- Integration of high-priority products into our Social Monitoring Programme (SMP)
- Training of employees and business partners
- Development of Corrective Action Plans (CAP) and if required, the exclusion of business partners or growers/producers as a last resort
- Our Corporate Responsibility Supplier Evaluation evaluates social and environmental compliance management systems of our business partners as well as their production facilities’ CR performance
- Consideration of auditing and certification schemes when making buying decisions and the definition of goals
- Adjustment of our buying processes to consider adverse impacts on human rights already during the tender process
- Development of goals and KPIs together with our buying department in order to monitor progress and to identify further actions
- Implementation of projects in origin countries
- Increase traceability and supply chain mapping
Remediation of negative impacts
We not only aim to ensure that the negative impact on affected rights-holders is prevented and mitigated, but that negative impacts that occur nevertheless are remediated. We seek to act upon findings and endeavour appropriate remedy by working within our business relationships to remedy adverse impacts which are directly linked to our operations and products. We acknowledge that state- based judicial and non-judicial mechanisms are a fundamental component to ensure access to remedy and should therefore not be obstructed.
Corrective action plan
Where adverse risks and impacts on human rights are identified despite our efforts to prevent and mitigate them, a corrective action plan is defined together with our business partners. This includes an action plan with individualised timelines for improvement and remediation of issues. The type of remedial action will be determined on a case-by-case basis and under consideration of the severity of the incident.
ALDI will closely monitor the implementation of the corrective action plan in order to support our business partners, to ensure the appropriate level of remediation and to allow us to provide feedback on their remediation efforts. The ALDI SOUTH Group may impose consequences, such as warning letters and temporary or permanent termination of business relationships, when business partners are unwilling to implement improvement and remediation measures.
Child labour remediation programme
We consider child labour to be a particularly severe human rights infringement. The ALDI SOUTH Group has set up a rapid response system in order to be able to react immediately and appropriately if child labour is found in our supply chains.
If child labour occurs at a production site producing for ALDI, we will seek a solution which is in the best interests of the child and their family, together with local expert organisations and our business partners. If a child is found to be involved in work in a production facility, the child is transferred to a remediation programme. Since 2017, we are partnering with “The Centre for Child Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility” for the implementation of the process.
The ALDI SOUTH Group recognises the need for workers to have access to grievance mechanisms compliant with the UN Guiding Principles of Business and Human Rights. For this reason, we have created grievance mechanism processes for our own employees and business partners. We acknowledge that effective grievance mechanisms are complex to establish and we aim to collaborate, where possible, with other stakeholders to create the most effective process.
We are a member of the International Accord of Fire and Safety in the Textile and Garment Industry. An essential part of the Accord is an accessible, rights-based and confidential grievance mechanism. In the case of grievances raised by workers through the Accord grievance mechanism, ALDI actively supports the investigation and remediation of findings.
Based on the experiences gained in the successful Accord grievance mechanisms, we are currently taking steps to build up grievance mechanisms in our high-priority supply chains. For that, we are partnering with civil society and multi-stakeholder organisations like amfori and the Issara Institute.
In our roadmap to our Vision 2030, we commit to ensuring that workers in at least three high-priority supply chains have access to an effective grievance mechanism and remedy as per the UN Guiding Principles definition until 2025.
Monitor and communication
We are committed to communicating and reporting transparently on our progress on addressing adverse human rights risks and impacts. We regularly monitor our due diligence process as well as the performance of our business partners in order to ensure alignment with the UNGPs.
Visits & Assessments
Engagement with affected stakeholders is key for identifying potential human rights risks and adverse impacts. As part of our engagement, we regularly visit and assess production sites together with our business partners in our food and non-food supply chains. During our audits, we regularly engage with workers by conducting worker interviews.
Modern Slavery Statements
We report on our performance and our progress with regards to addressing modern slavery annually through our Modern Slavery Statements in the UK and Australia.
Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIAs)
We are working on identifying the impact our business activities have on human rights. ALDI has committed to carry out detailed human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) that follow a stringent methodological approach, including extensive background research and engagement with rightsholders. Through these studies, we strive to identify, understand and assess the potential and actual adverse impacts of our business activities on workers and other affected rightsholders, such as community members, smallholder farmers and women. We have published the results of three HRIAs in selected high-priority raw materials: Avocado, Brazil nuts and Coffee.
Transparency of supply chains
We attach great importance to sustainable production conditions in the manufacturing of food and non-food products. Supply chain transparency is the foundation for all our sustainability measures. Without the knowledge where our products come from, we cannot ensure compliance with our requirements, analyse risks, monitor or implement projects. We work with our business partners to increase the transparency of our supply chains so that we have a better understanding of the origins of the products we sell and the raw materials we use in our products.
Non-food supply chains
In order to offer greater transparency to our customers, we are publishing the addresses and number of employees of all our main production facilities used for the manufacturing of garment textiles and shoes bought by the International Buying department. Production facilities are classified by product groups or country and the information will be updated bi-annually.
Food supply chains
In 2021, we published the names and addresses of our direct business partners (tier 1 suppliers) for bananas & pineapples, coffee and fish & seafood. We will subsequently publish these details for all of our food high-priority supply chains by the end of 2022.
National traceability platforms
In order to offer their customers a higher transparency for products, ALDI SOUTH Germany and HOFER have established traceability platforms. With the help of a QR code or a tracking code on the packaging, the respective product can be traced back to its origin.
Beyond audit approach
We consider third party social audits to be an important first step in gathering information about the human rights situation in our production sites and for initiating improvement. We are also aware that they may not always provide a true picture of working conditions and may fail to identify hidden issues such as forced labour, discrimination or harassment.
We commit to adopt an approach to ethical trade that goes beyond compliance and does not rely solely on social audits, complementing our audit approach with additional activity such as our own on-site visits, communication to and training for business partners, production facilities and producers, participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives, capacity building and projects on the ground.
We have established a wide range of partnerships with organisations including suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, governments, and NGOs. We believe that a collaborative approach is the best way to ensure human rights are respected. Therefore, we seek dialogue with rights holders and duty bearers, through our key partnerships and memberships.
Working with business partners
We work with our business partners to resolve human rights issues and to drive continuous improvement along our entire supply chains. We understand that, due to the complexity and sensitivity of human rights issues, they may take time to resolve and it is not our approach to cease business with business partners upon identification of such issues. We expect the same approach from our business partners with regard to their business partners. If risks or problems arise, the type of follow-up actions implemented will depend on the severity of the issue and the willingness of the business partner to enact or assist with prevention, mitigation or remediation. We commit to maintain a dialogue with our business partners, working together to share the responsibility to respect human rights in our supply chains.
We will continue to adjust our buying practices to address adverse impacts on human rights. These are already considered during our buying tender process and we actively intensify collaboration with business partners who have demonstrated a good sustainability performance.
We work with many different types of business partners, from global businesses to small, family-run businesses. We understand that there are numerous specific challenges faced by smallholder farmers. Due to many factors beyond farmers’ control such as climate change, unpredictable weather conditions, international energy prices affecting farm inputs, and lack of access to market, it can be a challenge to produce a stable quantity of crops. Farmers often are not able to earn a living income and we recognise that we have an important role to play in facilitating this. As part of our approach, we are committed to support small-scale farmers to organise collectively. We are currently involved in several projects and initiatives, which help smallholder farmers and we plan to increase dialogue and support them to produce our high-priority raw materials.
Working with key partners
We believe the best way to protect the people and the environment is through joint initiatives and partnerships. For this reason, we engage in various multi-stakeholder initiatives and projects on the ground.
The below map shows all our projects on the ground:
ALDI CR offices in Asia
Each of the ALDI SOUTH Group’s national organisations sources products from Asia. To minimise the risks related to working conditions and to ensure compliance with our high standards, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, has been operating its own CR office in Hong Kong since 2012 and established a second CR office in Bangladesh in 2017.
The focus of these CR offices is to monitor our business partner’ production facilities and the performance of our business partners with regard to social compliance. For this purpose, the CR offices conduct our own ALDI Social Assessments in the production facilities used for ALDI production and provide support to business partners on how to implement our CR requirements.
Project in Côte d'Ivoire
Since 2015, as a member of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) we have worked in partnership with the German government and the government of Côte d'Ivoire in a joint project. PRO-PLANTEURS works together with 25,000 cocoa farmers, including female farmers, their families, and their cooperatives. Successes of the first project phase were
- Professionalisation of cooperatives
- Increase in farmers’ cocoa yields
- Farmer training in Good Agricultural Practices and professional business management
- Diversification of agricultural production and nutrition.
In the PRO-PLANTEURS project, women are specifically trained on good nutrition and the cultivation of food crops for their own use. This allows women to be more financially independent by selling and consuming the harvest of food crops.
In June 2020, PRO-PLANTEURS started its second project phase with a focus on contributing to better living and working conditions of about 30,000 cocoa farmers.
Engagement in Côte d'Ivoire
Fairtrade Impact Report
Last year, the ALDI SOUTH Group, Fairtrade and the Fairtrade cocoa cooperative ECAMOM started a monitoring report to improve the working conditions and livelihoods of local cocoa farmers in Côte d’Ivoire. Now the first impact report “Building Trust. Creating Impact.” has been published.
The first impact report serves as a baseline to provide insights into the work of the cooperative and the farmers, and identifies the challenges they are facing. We aim to provide a picture of what cocoa farming looks like today, and highlight potential areas of opportunities that can enable a long-term partnership between the stakeholders involved in the supply chain.
Read the report: Building trust. Creating impact. First Year Impact Report
Project in Ghana
Income Diversification project
In 2020, the ALDI SOUTH Group has joined forces with the chocolate producer Barry Callebaut and the Cocoa Horizons Foundation to support Ghanaian cocoa farmers to generate alternative income sources to cocoa. The two-year project is co-funded by the Belgian initiative ‘Beyond Chocolate, which is funded by the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated by IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative.
Activities in the project
The project is intended to support achieving the living income target of ‘Beyond Chocolate’. Within the first year, the following activities were conducted:
- Financial inclusion: 76 ‘Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLAs)’ were formed to empower women and young people to invest in enterprises and households.
A VSLA provides access to finance in a safe, convenient, and flexible way by pooling together savings and raising resources in a group. It is a low-cost financial service, designed for farmers with irregular income, for example due to the cocoa season, in order to enable continuous solvency and business investments and to improve their family’s livelihoods or to fund household needs.
1008 farmers have benefited from the VSLA training activities so far. By the end of the two-year project, 77 VSLAs will have been founded.
- Rejuvenation of cocoa farms: Community nursery projects have started, with the seedlings ready to be planted in the upcoming rainy season. Approximately 80 households will benefit from the rejuvenation of 41 hectares of old cocoa farms.
- Land ownership: Approximately 500 farmers will be provided with official land titles to secure ownership and allow long-term investments on farms by the end of the project. 310 farmers have already signed up. In the first project year, engagement with authorities and government agencies has been achieved.
- Income diversification: Around 110 households were supported in setting up alternative income sources via poultry farming. A second wave of 300 farmers are being currently trained and equipped for poultry farming. Poultry farming is a great alternative as it is less laborious, quick, and a sustainable means to generate income and to bridge the purchasing parity gap, especially when cocoa is out of season.
- Cooking stoves: 580 cooking stoves were distributed to families. The stoves significantly reduce the amount of wood needed to cook, leading families to need less time to cook and a reduced risk for deforestation. The total target is to distribute 500 cooking stoves.
The project is implemented by the Cocoa Horizons Foundation, an independent, non-profit organisation with the purpose to drive cocoa farmer prosperity by creating self-sustaining communities that protect children and nature. Via Barry Callebaut, ALDI is sourcing cocoa from farmers, which benefit from the Cocoa Horizons programme. ALDI customers can enjoy this sustainable product, the Belgian Seashells, during the Christmas season and contribute to a brighter future for cocoa farming communities in Ghana. We are committed to promote and offer products to our customers that are sourced from supply chains supporting a living income and have a decent standard of living for farmers.
Mission Ally of Tony’s Open Chain
Chocolate bar: Choceur CHOCO CHANGER
A sweet taste, a delicious smell and a little bit(e) of happiness: We are excited to launch our new, responsibly sourced chocolate bar: Choceur CHOCO CHANGER. Our customers’ choice is empowering cocoa farmers in West Africa. Together, we can amplify our positive impact on cocoa farmers and change the norm in the cocoa industry by working on ending poverty, illegal child labour, and deforestation.
As the first international discount retailer to join Tony’s Open Chain in December 2020, ALDI is committed to support Tony’s Open Chain’s ambitious mission to change the norm in the cocoa industry by improving the working conditions along the supply chains and by collaborating in the transparent sourcing of cocoa beans. The cocoa beans for the Choceur CHOCO CHANGER are sourced via Tony’s Open Chain and its 5 Sourcing Principles.
Project in Honduras
Fairtrade coffee project
The ALDI SOUTH Group has been sourcing Fairtrade-certified coffee from Honduras since 2014. Coffee is the most important agricultural export product from Honduras with over 100,000 families growing coffee and over one million people employed by the sector during harvest. Coffee farmers in Honduras face strong challenges resulting from a volatile political situation, high poverty rates, and fluctuation in price on the world market, and the growing effects of climate change.
Since 2016, ALDI SOUTH has funded a project initiated by Fairtrade to support coffee cooperatives in Honduras. The project aims to
- improve the administrative and organisational capacities of smallholder producers,
- increase the amount of sustainable coffee production by smallholders and their resilience to climate change,
- increase coffee quality, sales and marketing capacities of cooperatives, and
- integrate vulnerable groups (women, youth, children, workers, indigenous people) more strongly into development and decision-making processes, the implementation of policies and advocacy initiatives at community level.
The Fairtrade premium which is paid to cooperatives for each Fairtrade certified product as well as ALDI’s additional project funds, enable solutions to be found for the above-mentioned challenges, and ensure the long-term sustainability of smallholder coffee production in Honduras. Through these efforts, farmers will become more resilient and prosperous so that a daily cup of coffee purchased from ALDI remains sustainable for all.
Project in Morocco
Fishery improvement project
The project aims to sustainably improve fishery management in order to ensure fishing practices, which comply with the MSC criteria in the long term. In 2014, the ALDI SOUTH Group initiated this project concerning the active improvement of the sustainability of sardine fishing in Morocco.
Farm Africa Project in Western Kenya
In 2016, ALDI UK became the first UK supermarket to team up with international development charity Farm Africa in a three-year partnership to support young farmers in Kenya. ALDI funds the Growing Futures project to educate and improve the lives of more than 450 young people in Kitale, Western Kenya.
The project trains young people how to grow high-quality crops, like green beans, tomatoes and kale, as well as how to run their farms as businesses. As well as assisting young farmers to improve the quality and amount of food they produce, the project will help ensure they are growing the most valuable crops, support them in finding the best contracts, and enable them to sell crops at higher value markets so they can find a lasting way out of poverty.
Project in Vietnam
Social Dialogue in cashew supply chains
ALDI seeks to respect human rights and prevent violations in our Vietnamese cashew nut supply chain by supporting the Ethical Trade Norway’s Cashew project. The project strengthens labour standards while having a focus on women and vulnerable groups as well as improves environmental management.
Together with our cashew suppliers, ALDI encouraged processors in the Vietnamese cashew supply chain to participate in social dialogue training during September and November 2019. This training was designed to improve worker and management dialogue, grievance handling and knowledge of trade union rights. The project also trained farmers on labour standards, good agricultural and environmental practices. Additional sessions and supplementary trainings for further Vietnamese supply chain actors followed in July 2020. The project will continue to support farmers, workers and processors over the course of this year with further guidance and knowledge-sharing.
Flowers in Ethiopia
Since March 2019, ALDI UK has funded a project with the Fairtrade Foundation aimed at empowering women flower farm workers in Ethiopia. The four-year programme aims to build on Fairtrade’s impact and will benefit more than 11,000 flower farm workers.
It will deliver training in seven flower farms in subjects such as workers’ rights and gender equality, and offer strengthened support for gender committees and work with trade unions to advocate for fairer wages and improved structures to empower women on Fairtrade certified farms. The aim of the project is to both empower and protect women, and give them the tools and support they need to take on leadership roles on farms in their communities.
Project in Côte d'Ivoire
Palm oil smallholder project (2017-2021)
Between 2017-2021, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, supported a smallholder project in Côte d'Ivoire in order to pave the way for sustainable cultivation of palm in the area. In close cooperation with our partner Solidaridad, we developed a project that focused on improving smallholder farmers’ knowledge on Best Environmental Practices and on agriculture that respects High Conservation Values (HCV) and natural forests.
Solidaridad offereds training through Farmer Field Schools (FFS) for 2,611 palm oil smallholder farmers and helped restore approximately 250 hectares of forest land in the project area. The team cultivated 17,532 tree seedlings in nurseries that were then distributed to individual farmers, planted in schools and borders of sacred forests, and used to help restore natural reserve areas.
Various partners and stakeholders were involved in the project, including the Inter-professional Association of Oil-Palm Industry (AIPH). This institution has fully endorsed the project’s outcomes and is now installing tree nurseries in other palm oil-growing regions. Additionally the cooperatives engaged are were COOPALEN, UCCOPES, COOPTOSA from the Sud Comoe region, UCOOPALM from the Grand Ponts region, USCOPAHLD from Loh Djiboua and U3SC from San Pedro.
Despite the many challenges facing the project, including COVID-19 restrictions, and political tensions, 90% of the community participants, including community leaders and the youth, reported positive outcomes of the project in the area and increased knowledge from the trainings.
Project in Bangladesh
ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project (2013-2020)
ALDI is committed to promoting human rights in the garment industry. With the ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, has introduced a programme which delivers change in factories that produce our garments in Bangladesh.
Running from 2013 to 2020, the AFA Project placed factory workers and managers at the centre of its activities to find sustainable solutions for improved workplaces. Its core principle was the promotion of dialogue and cooperation between workers and managers. To date, approximately 85,000 workers and their managers of 40 participating factories have benefitted from the project and experienced positive changes in their day-to-day working environment.
Project in Bangladesh
AFA Project Plus for child care services (2016-2019)
From 2016 until 2019, the AFA Project PLUS addressed the critical need for quality childcare for the children of working parents in factories that produce our textile goods in Bangladesh. ALDI supported selected factories participating in the AFA Project in improving their internal day-care services.
Many workers are reliant on these services due to financial constraints and a lack of alternative care options. Together with local non-governmental organisations, we trained caregivers, childcare centre supervisors, nurses and parents working at the factory.
COVID-19 emergency relief in Bangladesh & Myanmar
ALDI & CARE support female garment workers
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on garment workers has been devastating. Women make up the majority of the garment sector workforce and they have been affected the most. In 2020, CARE International and the ALDI SOUTH Group teamed up to protect the rights and needs of women in the garment sector in Bangladesh and Myanmar during the pandemic.
These efforts resulted in nearly 5,000 female workers receiving hygiene kits while 1,600 workers received household handwashing facilities in Bangladesh. In Myanmar, we were able to reach more than 76,000 factory workers with sanitising and disinfecting materials and provided face masks for more than 28,000 workers.
Project in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan (2018-2021)
Fairtrade project on cottonseed
From 2018-2021, ALDI SOUTH Germany supported the Fairtrade cottonseed project in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The project aimed to empower smallholder farmers and to improve the quality and supply of non-GMO cotton from Central Asia.
To reach the project goal the following measures were implemented:
- Training of farmers on seed production and multiplication
- Actions to combat GMO-contamination
- Enlargement of cultivable acreage for organic cotton and yield
- Knowledge management and sharing
Project in Honduras
Living income gap project
The ALDI SOUTH Group is partnering with Olam Food Ingredients’ (“OFI”) coffee business on a four-year project in Honduras, which aims to narrow the living income gap by improving market access and coffee quality.
The new joint project aims to create a transparent and traceable coffee supply chain all the way to farm level, and narrow the living income gap of 1,000 coffee producers in Honduras by helping them to increase yields, improve coffee quality and achieve Rainforest Alliance certification. Local representatives and farmers will be trained with an innovative smartphone app that enables them to make informed decisions and directly trade their coffee with Olam. Over four years, each farmer will receive tailored trainings, agricultural inputs and tools to help narrow the living income gap.
Tracking the project’s progress will ensure we are not only meeting our shared goals but learning how to make our impact scalable in a way that lifts farmers out of poverty, and that offers a more promising future for generations to come.
Project in Thailand
Worker voice process
ALDI is partnering with the non-profit organization Issara Institute to provide support to both workers and businesses in our supply chain. We will be working together to provide access to grievance mechanisms and remediation actions in ALDI’s Thai food supply chains. The partnership will strengthen current processes and empower workers to speak up if they have concerns about their working environment.
It also helps ALDI to generate learnings on addressing potential barriers in accessing grievance mechanisms and remedy that different categories of workers are facing. For example, Issara supports gender-specific mechanisms by having trained male and female helpline operators and ensuring worker confidentiality and safety in reporting all issues such as harassment. Potential barriers are being addressed through remediating worker raised issues in collaboration with their employer and support of ALDI and its suppliers, for instance through building capacity to look into grievances, talking safely with workers or through other specific training by Issara Institute.
Project in Brazil
Ethical recruitment on coffee farms
Following the development of the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) action plan, ALDI is partnering with the non-profit civil society organisation Verité on a pilot project on “Promoting Ethical Recruitment in the Coffee Sector of Minas Gerais, Brazil” within Verité’s U.S. Department of Labor-funded Cooperation On Fair, Free, Equitable Employment (COFFEE) Project.
After conducting an HRIA on coffee in Brazil in 2021, ALDI is excited to be able to take immediate action through participating in Verité’s project in Brazil. The aim of this pilot is to better understand and respond to recruitment and labour risks in the Brazilian coffee sector.
The effort is part of Verité’s “COFFEE” Project, which includes pilot projects in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, along with the development of an open-source Socially Sustainable Sourcing Toolkit (S3T) and online training modules focused on promoting decent labour conditions and fair recruitment in the coffee sector. The tools will be piloted by ALDI and its supply chain actors, such as coffee roasters, traders, and farms.
Sustainable Development Goals
Support and respect the protection of human rights
Not complicit in human rights abuses
Uphold freedom of association and recognition of right to collective bargaining
Elimination of forced and compulsory labour
Abolition of child labour
Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
Work against corruption in all its forms