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ALDI SOUTH GroupClear Standards, Capacity-Building And Focused Assessments To Tackle Forced Labour In Food Supply Chains
ALDI SOUTH Group operates supermarkets in several European countries as well as the USA, Australia and China. In response to risks of forced labour in its global food and non-food supply chain, ALDI SOUTH Group (together with ALDI Nord Group) developed an International Policy on Forced Labour.
The policy outlines ALDI’s requirements for all its direct contractual partners as well as suppliers beyond tier 1, including processing plants, farms or fishing vessels. It establishes expectations regarding the terms and conditions of recruitment and employment, such as the prohibition to withhold workers’ personal belongings and documents, and ALDI’s commitment to the ‘Employer pays principle’, forbidding the charging of recruitment fees to workers. It asks suppliers to put in place adequate management systems to ensure these principles are respected (identification of at-risk regions and industries, ensuring staff is trained on forced labour topics, and providing effective grievance channels).
ALDI supports its suppliers in implementing the policy by providing capacity-building tools, such as e-learnings and training. In July 2021, ALDI issued a Guidance Paper on Forced Labour in ALDI’s Supply Chains for its business partners, giving in-depth advice to suppliers on how to prevent, detect and remediate forced labour. Aside from requiring its suppliers to carry out due diligence, the company also conducts ALDI Social Assessments (ASAs) in key production facilities. Since 2021, ALDI has been supplementing the ASAs with questionnaires sent directly to workers via the Apprise app, which was developed by the United Nations University Institute in Macau in collaboration with The Mekong Club to detect cases of forced labour among vulnerable workers. Where potential cases of forced labour are identified, ALDI partners with NGOs and business associations to investigate further, and to ensure long-term remediation where appropriate.