This week Oxfam has launched the latest phase of Behind the Barcodes, our new global campaign to end the human suffering behind our supermarket food.
We’ve ranked six major UK supermarkets on their publicly available policies in four important categories: workers’ rights, small holder farmers, women’s rights and crucially, whether they are transparent and accountable in their efforts to protect the people who produce our food.
According to our scorecard, not one UK supermarket scored above 23%. However, Aldi only scored a total of 1% and scored nothing at all in the workers’ rights category. As it stands, Aldi simply has not put in place transparent measures to assure us that the men and women who produce our food are treated fairly and can feed their own families.
This is why we’re calling on Aldi to do better. We believe that with the right public policies and practices in place, Aldi can have a transformational impact on the lives of the farmers and workers we all rely on.
Yesterday I took a trip to the Aldi store where I do my shopping and spoke to the manager about my concerns. I gave them a letter which asked some key questions that the company needs to answer if they’re serious about improving the lives of the people who pick, pack and process our food.
- What is Aldi doing to understand where workers and farmers are at risk of poverty and hunger in its global supply chains, and what dangers they face?
- What is Aldi doing to address these risks and reduce the suffering of people producing its food?
- Who within Aldi’s senior executive team and the Board has responsibility for ensuring human rights are respected?
- Where is information on your human rights policies and practices available to the public?
My store manager was really friendly, interested to hear about the campaign and promised to pass my letter on to her management. It’s really important that Aldi hear from their customers and know we care about these issues. Only then will they feel the pressure to act.
If you also feel it’s unfair that many food producers live in poverty, then why not have a brief conversation with your own store manager? This doesn’t need to be scary; after all, you’re just a loyal customer who wants to raise your concerns.
You can also show your support for the campaign by sharing our spoof Aldi advert on either Facebook or Twitter. Aldi is a brand which prides itself on being #EverydayAmazing, but sadly its publicly available policies just don’t match their amazing quality or prices.
I love Aldi. I love the fact that I can buy great quality food to share with my friends and family. I love that I never know if I’m going to leave with my weekly shop, or a mermaid blanket. However, what I don’t love is knowing that people may have gone hungry themselves because Aldi doesn’t have strong enough publicly available policies and practices to ensure they earn a living wage.
So please join me today in speaking to your Aldi store manager. Only by Aldi stepping up their game, will every day really be amazing for the men and women behind our food.