Aldi gives suppliers marching orders

Aldi Food MarketGerman supermarket giant Aldi has laid out a laundry list of new requirements for Aussie suppliers as part of a broad-based move to bolster sustainable practice through its supply-chain.

First revealed in The Australian on Monday morning Aldi has distributed documents to its local supply partners detailing new rules, benchmarks and systems that need to be implemented within the next five months.

Aldi’s suppliers will be required to include information on social audits in all tenders by August and will need to join one of two-leading corporate and social responsibility groups by November -Supplier Ethical Data Exchange and the Business Social Compliance Initiative – The Australian reports.

The changes are being spearheaded by Aldi’s Australian corporate responsibility manager, Stephanie Farrugia, who warned suppliers that the supermarket reserves the right to act to remedy any violation of its ethical benchmarks, including ending supplier relationships.

In a statement an Aldi spokesperson made no apologies for its sustainability practices, saying that suppliers are contractually obliged to respect ALDI’s social standards in production.

“Our commitment to the highest standards of responsible behaviour extends to the practices of our suppliers, as well as to their manufacturers throughout the supply chain. As part of their contractual agreements, suppliers must respect the ALDI Social Standards in Production during the entire production process. To help our partners align to our values and expectations, we have conducted a series of ongoing training sessions regarding these Standards since 2013,” a spokesperson in a statement.

“We use a variety of third-party audits to assist us with the monitoring of social standards within our supply chain. We also have teams of ALDI staff in various locations including Australia, Hong Kong and Bangladesh, who regularly visit the facilities manufacturing the products we sell. These teams conduct comprehensive assessments on the social standards within the facilities, so we can work together on continuous improvement.”

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