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Farming field in sunlight

Responsible Sourcing

Our Approach

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 or are directly linked to. Our aspiration is that all our products are made in a sustainable way and we consider environmental and social criteria in our global supply chains - from raw materials to final production.

Sustainable buying practices are essential for the long-term success of our business. We are responsible for all activities within our global supply chains and for the resources used in the production of our products.

Together with our business partners, we work towards increased transparency and continuous improvement within supply chains. We strive to increase the share of sustainable resources used in our products and to minimise the negative environmental and social impacts of production.

Our Actions

Business partners

The relationships we have with our business partners are based on mutual respect and trust, it forms the foundation for all our supply chain activities.

We expect our business partners to comply with all our social and environmental standards, e.g. ALDI Social Standards in Production, and we pay particular attention to production conditions in countries where adherence to these standards cannot yet be taken for granted. In these countries, we want to contribute to the improvement of working conditions and the protection of the environment. We do this by maintaining an ongoing dialogue with our business partners, working together on projects and monitoring activities to ensure our requirements are implemented and adhered to in all production facilities used for ALDI production.

World map visits and assessments

High-priorities

The ALDI SOUTH Group’s commitment to corporate responsibility is not restricted to meeting minimum legal requirements. Our aim is to go above and beyond by defining and strengthening sustainability as a quality factor for our products. We focus on both the resources used in our products as well as the working conditions and environmental standards in production.

More sustainable agricultural practices and the responsible use of resources help protect the environment as well as ensure the long-term availability of resources. To create lasting impact, as an international global discount retailer with an average product range of 1,600 products, we need to focus our activities on high-priority raw materials and commodity groups.

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 concerning the origin of every product we sell and the raw materials we use for our products.

Working with key partners

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.

Our Goals & Performance (2019)

By measuring our progress against our Corporate Responsibility goals on a regular basis, we can continuously validate the effectiveness of our actions and highlight the areas where we are already making strong progress as well as other areas where further action is still required.

Our Projects

General

Anke Ehlers cutting cake on the opening of the Bangladesh CR office
International organisation
ALDI CR offices in Asia

Each of the ALDI SOUTH Group’s national organisations sources products from Asia. To minimise the risks relating to working conditions and 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 ALDI Social Assessments in the production facilities on behalf of the ALDI SOUTH Group and provide support to business partners on how to implement them.

More on 'Company Profile'
Male and female people sitting around in circle
Project in Bangladesh
ALDI Factory Advancement (AFA) Project

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.

Launched in 2013, the AFA Project places factory workers and managers at the centre of its activities to find sustainable solutions for improved workplaces. Its core principle is 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.

More about 'AFA Project'
Picture drawn from a child showing the scene from a child care service
Project in Bangladesh
AFA Project Plus for child care services

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. 

More about 'AFA Project'
Three farmers smiling
Working groups
Commitment towards living incomes and wages

Working towards the payment of a living income and wage are an important part of a sustainable supply chain. They contribute towards the fight against poverty and child labour and the realisation of other human rights.

German Initiative for International Cooperation (GIZ)

As a participant of the “Working Group on Living Income and Living Wages” established by the German Society for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit - GIZ), we want to support and promote the establishment of an income and wage standard that meets the cost of living in the global agricultural supply chains. By joining forces and aligning our approach with others, we aim to increase leverage to maximise our impact and ensure that farmers and workers in global supply chains have a decent standard of living.

Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH

The Sustainable Trade Initiative ‘IDH’ created a 'Living Wage Steering Committee' together with the ALDI SOUTH Group, and many other businesses. The participating companies in the committee will monitor the implementation of the IDH Roadmap, including the development of tools to measure the living wage gap and approaches to close it.

FAO World Banana Forum’s Living Wage Advocacy Initiative (LIWIN)

We support the FAO World Banana Forum’s Living Wage Advocacy Initiative (LIWIN), which works towards the establishment of living income and wage benchmarks in several banana exporting countries and living income/wage advocacy activities with government, private sector and civil society actors in major European importing countries.

More on 'Respecting Human Rights'

Food

Cows eating hay
International Position Statement
Animal welfare

As an international retailer, we trade considerable quantities of meat, dairy, and other animal-based food and non-food products. Irrespective of the high complexity resulting from the variety of products we sell and the markets we operate in, we strive to continuously improve animal welfare standards throughout our supply chains.

Our approach to animal welfare is guided by the globally recognised 'Five Freedoms' proposed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC).

Our International Position Statement serves as the foundation for our commitment and efforts in the area of animal welfare, and demonstrates the extent to which the individual countries of the ALDI SOUTH Group have aligned their measures within this area.

Read 'International Position Statement on Animal Welfare'
Many cocoa fruits stacked together
Projects in Côte d’Ivoire, membership & working group
Cocoa

PRO PLANTEURS 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.

German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO)

ALDI has been an active member of the German Initiative on Sustainable Cocoa (GISCO) since 2015 and works with other members to achieve the initiative’s objectives.  This multi-stakeholder initiative aims to improve the livelihood of cocoa farmers and their families, to contribute to a secure living, to conserve and protect natural resources and biodiversity in cocoa producing countries, as well as to increase cultivation and commercialisation of sustainably produced cocoa. ALDI is actively engaged in the sustainability and PRO-PLANTEURS working groups, which focus on the implementation of GISCO’s goals and monitoring the PRO-PLANTEURS project.

Retailer Cocoa Collaboration

In September 2019, the ALDI SOUTH Group joined the newly-formed Retailer Cocoa Collaboration (RCC) which commits to support the Cocoa and Forests Initiative. This initiative will drive change by protecting and restoring forests in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Colombia. The RCC will also map collective cocoa supply chains to gain a greater understanding of the social and environmental risks found in production countries. The trader assessment conducted by RCC will also provide us with greater transparency and insight into lower supply chain tiers.

Fairtrade cocoa project in Côte d'Ivoire

Since 2020, the ALDI SOUTH Group and Fairtrade  have been collaborating on a project in Côte d’Ivoire to improve working conditions and livelihoods for local cocoa farmers. The project analyses the impact of ALDI’s business operations on the community and environment, increases traceability of our cocoa products and provides a basis for further projects together with Fairtrade. As part of the project, ALDI’s business partner will source cocoa beans which are 100% traceable from the selected cooperative for our cocoa-based products.

More on 'Cocoa'
Coffee bush with red coffee fruit
Project in Honduras & membership
Coffee

Fairtrade coffee project in Honduras

Since 2016, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with TransFair e. V., has supported 22 Fairtrade certified coffee cooperatives in Honduras, directly benefitting over 4,600 farmers, including over 1,000 female farmers, and their families. The project is implemented by Fairtrade. Through its standards, Fairtrade fosters collective organisation of smallholder farmers in so-called small-producer organisations, for instance farmer cooperatives or associations. With every Fairtrade-certified product and by supporting Fairtrade campaigns, we support collective organisation as well as other benefits for the farmers and their communities. With the Honduras project, we go a step further, supporting the farmers and collective organisation through additional activities.

In the current project phase with 16 cooperatives, the livelihoods and future perspectives of the participating coffee farmers, their cooperatives and families will be improved by:

  • Improved administrative capacities, organizational structures and internal policies of the cooperatives
  • Improved ecological practices contributing to climate change resilience
  • Improved coffee quality and sales under Fairtrade terms
  • Stronger integration of women, youth, children and indigenous groups into decision making processes of cooperatives and advocacy initiatives at community level
  • Pilot initiatives for income diversification and child protection

The project follows up on the rights and protection of vulnerable groups as well as promotes the empowerment of next generation farmers and women in the different organisational processes related to cooperatives, productive and marketing aspects, as well as the search for spaces to achieve knowledge transfer within the organizations.

The project also includes income diversification for women and youth by incentivising cooperatives to develop activities to promote women/youth committees and groups.

Sustainable Coffee Challenge

In 2020, the ALDI SOUTH Group became a member of the Sustainable Coffee Challenge (SCC). In the SCC, we collaborate with other retailers, traders, governments, NGOs, and research institutions on improving living and working conditions in the global coffee sector.

More on 'Coffee'
Fish swarm in blue ocean water
Copyright: HOFER
Project & partnerships
Fish and seafood

Fishery improvement project in Morocco

The project aims to sustainably improve fishery management in order to ensure fishing practices, which comply with the MSC criteria in the long term. Since 2014, the ALDI SOUTH Group initiated project concerning the active improvement of the sustainability of sardine fishing in Morocco.

Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP)

Since 2012, we have worked in collaboration with the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP), a leading non-governmental organisation.  Their focus is to improve the sustainability of wild fisheries as well as aquaculture. The SFP acts as our independent adviser on fish sustainability and rates the sustainability of the fish and seafood used in our own label products and provide recommendations to drive continuous improvement of fisheries. Through our partnership, we can gain better insight into how to source more sustainable seafood products. 

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

Since 2010, we are collaborating with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the field of sustainable fishing and aquaculture farming. The WWF acts as an independent adviser on fish sustainability and rates the sustainability of the fish and seafood used in our private label products. The WWF also provides us with recommendations to drive continuous improvement of fisheries and aquacultures.

Seafood Task Force

Since 2017, the ALDI SOUTH Group is a member of the Seafood Task Force, a multi-stakeholder initiative seeking to address illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in an effort to address human rights issues and marine conservational problems, which are believed to be closely interlinked.

The Seafood Task Force uses the combined knowledge and experience of its membership to address complex supply chain issues that cannot be solved individually. The aim is to achieve clean seafood supply chains from vessel to retailer through driving oversight and continuous improvement across people, product, process and policy.

Aquaculture Technical Committee of the certification scheme GLOBALG.A.P

Credible certification schemes like GLOBALG.A.P. are important tools to drive improvements and bolster our consumers’ trust. GLOBALG.A.P. sets standards for good agricultural and aquaculture practices (G.A.P.) and in May 2020, we followed the invitation to join the Aquaculture Technical Committee, which will enable us to promote improvements through a well-established dialogue with all relevant industry stakeholders.

 

More on 'Fish & Seafood'
Bucket of lemons
Copyright: ALDI SOUTH Germany
ALDI UK, ALDI SOUTH Germany & working group
Fresh produce

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.

Producer assessment

ALDI SOUTH Germany is systematically introducing its own producer assessments for its range of fresh produce. The products and countries of origin in which ALDI SOUTH conducts the producer assessments are selected based on a risk analysis. Besides tropical fruits from Central and South America, assessments of the quality of fresh produce have also already been conducted in Southern Europe.

Working group

In line with our responsible sourcing strategy to prevent and mitigate adverse human rights impacts of our business activity, the ALDI SOUTH Group has been an active member of the Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI) Italian Produce Working Group since 2018. ETI is a global alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights and the Italian Produce Working Group aims to create a trusting, collaborative space, within which open dialogue can be held to share and discuss challenges and practical solutions for human rights issues with the Italian produce sector.

Cashew nuts in bush
Project in Vietnam
Nuts

Project in Vietnam

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. The project will continue to support farmers, workers and processors over the next year via further training and knowledge-sharing.

More on 'Nuts'
Palm seed in bowl
Project in Côte d'Ivoire & project groups
Palm oil

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)

In 2011, the ALDI SOUTH Group became a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a not-for-profit organisation that unites stakeholders from the palm oil industry to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil. The RSPO has more than 4,800 members worldwide who represent all links along the palm oil supply chain. They have committed to produce, source and/or use sustainable palm oil certified by the RSPO.

Working together

Since 2019, the ALDI SOUTH Group is the only retail representative of the RSPO Smallholder Standing Committee (SHSC). The SHSC’s responsibilities include overseeing the execution of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy and decision making throughout the implementation of the RSPO Smallholder Strategy.

Palm oil smallholder project in Côte d'Ivoire (2017-2021)

Since 2017, the ALDI SOUTH Group, together with ALDI Nord, have been supporting a smallholder project in Côte d'Ivoire in order to pave the way for sustainable cultivation of palm. In close cooperation with our NGO partner Solidaridad, we have developed a project focussing on the protection of natural forests and environmentally friendly cultivation methods. Solidaridad offers training for 2,100 smallholders on natural forest protection and environmentally friendly cultivation methods, which are compatible with resource conservation requirements. The cooperatives engaged are COOPALEN, UCCOPES and COOPTOSA from the Sud Comoé region, UCOOPALM from the Grand Ponts region, USCOPAHLD from Loh Djiboua and U3SC from San Pedro.

Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC)

We are founding member of the Palm Oil Transparency Coalition (POTC). POTC is a group of businesses working together in a pre-competitive coalition to remove deforestation and exploitation from the palm oil sector. We engage and review the major international importers of palm oil to determine their progress towards tackling deforestation and exploitation in their palm oil supply chains. Our approach aims to promote transparency and encourage progress beyond certification.

Retailer Palm Oil Group (RPOG)

The ALDI SOUTH Group has been a member of the Retailers' Palm Oil Group (RPOG) since 2012. RPOG is a non-competitive coalition of retailers who have the common aim of making the use of sustainable palm oil the norm across all relevant supply chains.

More on 'Palm oil'
Soy field in sunset light
Project & working group
Soy

Retail Soy Group (RSG)

The ALDI SOUTH Group joined the Retail Soy Group (RSG) in 2017. The RSG is an independent group of international retailers collaborating pre-competitively to find industry-wide solutions for sustainable soy for their animal feed and food supply chains.

Collective Soy Reporting (CSR)

Since 2018, we participate in the Collective Soy Reporting together with a group of other retailers to

  • quantify the amount of soymeal present in animal feed used in 2018
  • Identify where the soy was produced
  • determine whether any of the soymeal carried a recognised deforestation free production certification

Overall, more than 230 livestock producers, packers, and manufacturing suppliers fed into the report.

Based on the results, we engage with relevant stakeholders and develop appropriate measures to increase the share of deforestation-free soy in our supply chain.

Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS)

The ALDI SOUTH Group became a member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) in 2017. The RTRS is a global platform for multi-stakeholder dialogue to promote responsible production, processing and trading of soy on a global level. Its mission is to encourage soybean production to be verified by a certification standard and produced in a responsible manner. Its objective is to reduce the social and environmental impacts of soy while maintaining or improving the economic status for the producer.

Soy Transparency Coalition (STC)

We are a founding member of the Soy Transparency Coalition (STC), which was established in 2020. The STC is a pre-competitive coalition whose aim is to help deliver a sustainable soy production system. The STC does this by engaging with major international soy traders on tackling deforestation and transparency challenges in soy supply chains.

More on 'Deforestation'
Logo of World Banana Forum
Working group & human rights assessment
Tropical fruit

Cost of sustainable production in the banana sector

As a member of the World Banana Forum, we are involved in the working group ‘Cost of Sustainable Production’. Its aim is to create transparency about living income and wages in the producing countries. On this basis, governments are supported in the assumption of their responsibility that minimum wages meet living wages and also their enforcement is controlled. In this context, we support the FAO World Banana Forum’s Living Wage Advocacy Initiative (LIWIN), which works towards the establishment of living income and wage benchmarks in several banana exporting countries and living income/wage advocacy activities with government, private sector and civil society organisations in major European importing countries.

Human rights assessment

In 2018, we comprehensively examined the human rights risks within our food and agriculture supply chains. We identified tropical fruit as a raw material with a high risk of human rights violations and consider it to be very important to us in terms of leverage.

In 2020, we will carry out detailed human rights impact assessments for avocados to identify, understand and assess the effects of our business activities on workers and other affected rights-holders.

More on 'Tropical fruit'

Non-Food

Hand holding cotton
International goal & projects in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mozambique
Cotton

International goal

Together with our business partners, we are committed to standards that achieve long-term sustainable improvements in the cultivation of cotton. We will ensure to use 100% sustainable cotton for our ALDI-exclusive garments and household textiles by 2025.

We prohibit our business partners from using cotton sourced from countries where cultivation and harvesting are systematically associated with human rights violations, such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Fairtrade project on cottonseed

Since 2018, ALDI SOUTH Germany has been supporting the Fairtrade project in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. The project aims to empower smallholder farmers and to improve the quality and supply of cotton from Central Asia.

To reach the project goal the following measures are implemented:

  • Training for farmers on seed production and multiplication
  • Actions to combat GMO-contamination
  • Enlargement of cultivable acreage for organic cotton and yield
  • Knowledge management and sharing

Cotton made in Africa recycling project

In 2019, Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and the local cotton company SAN-JFS developed a recycling project in Mozambique. This project supports women from local farming communities who operate eco-collection points. Over 72,000 empty pesticide containers were collected and sent for recycling in the first year and benefitted up to 20,000 farmers. With the exclusive support of ALDI, the project is able to continue into a second phase and benefit even more farmers.

More on 'Cotton'
Canal with water flowing out
International commitment
Detox

In 2015, the ALDI SOUTH Group joined 80 other international fashion retailers in committing to the goals of Greenpeace’s Detox campaign. Since then we have reduced the negative impacts of chemical-based production processes used in the textile and footwear industry on workers, local communities and the environment.

We have empowered our suppliers to work with their business partners in order to deliver our requirements and verify their implementation within the scope of our sourcing activities. Our ALDI Detox Reports summarise the positive progress we have made over the past five years.

We will continue to increase the scope of our work to address further environmental impacts, ranging from strengthening our commitment to more sustainable material sourcing to raising awareness of opportunities to buy more sustainably. This means that we will promote more sustainable production processes and sustainable products to enable our customers to consume sustainably

More on 'Detox'
Asian garment fabric workers at work stations
CR Supplier Evaluation
Sustainable textiles

It is important to us that garment and household textiles, which are a regular component of our weekly special buys, are produced in an environmentally and socially sound way. Our goal for the future is to further expand our range of sustainable textiles and create even greater transparency in ALDI’s supply chain.

Since 2018, we have been annually evaluating the CR performance of all our international garment textiles business partners.

The Corporate Responsibility Supplier Evaluation (CRSE) is a comparable and transparent evaluation based on quantitative and qualitative indicators. The indicators focussing on our business partners’ social and environmental compliance management systems as well as their production facilities’ CR performance are derived from our CR Requirements, which form part of every contract.

The results of this evaluation increasingly influence our buying decisions. The CRSE supports long-term relationships with those business partners, who demonstrate a strong CR record and provides incentives for continuous improvement.

More on 'Textiles'

Our Memberships & Partnerships

We believe the best way to protect the people and the planet is through joint initiatives and partnerships. For this reason, we engage in multi-stakeholder initiatives.

Sustainable Development Goals

1 No poverty 2 Zero hunger 3 Good health and well-being 4 Quality education 5 Gender equality 6 Clean water and sanitation 8 Decent work and economic growth 10 Reduced inequalities 12 Responsible consumption and production 13 Climate action 14 Life below water 15 Life on land 17 Partnerships for the goals

UNGC

Human Rights

Principle 1

Support and respect the protection of human rights

Principle 2

Not complicit in human rights abuses

Labour

Principle 3

Uphold freedom of association and recognition of right to collective bargaining

Principle 4

Elimination of forced and compulsory labour

Principle 5

Abolition of child labour

Principle 6

Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation

Environment

Principle 7

Precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8

Promote environmental responsibility

Principle 9

Development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

Anti-Corruption

Principle 10

Work against corruption in all its forms

GRI references

GRI 102: General disclosures 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 102-9 Global Reporting Initiative 102-12 Global Reporting Initiative 102-13 Global Reporting Initiative 102-47

GRI 103: Management approach 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 103-1 Global Reporting Initiative 103-2 Global Reporting Initiative 103-3

GRI 308: Supplier environmental assessment 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 308-2

GRI 412: Human rights assessment 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 412-1

GRI 414: Supplier social assessment 2016

Global Reporting Initiative 414-1 Global Reporting Initiative 414-2