- To mark World Human Rights Day, Lidl GB becomes the first British food retailer to publish a Human Rights Impact Assessment and mitigation plan
- The retailer has announced new measures to support women and smallholder farmers, and its continued offering of 100% certification of own brand black, rooibos and green tea
- The plan is a fundamental step towards greater supply chain transparency with Lidl committing two further assessments in the next twelve months
10th December 2020: To mark World Human Rights Day, Lidl GB has revealed new measures to increase transparency of its tea supply chain and go beyond existing requirements to certification schemes. The measures form part of the discounter’s first published Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA), sharing the impact of its operations on human rights within the tea supply chain.
Lidl’s new ambitious targets further strengthen existing commitments, including greater collaboration within the supply chain, more support for women and smallholder farmers, and ensuring that 100% of its own brand black, rooibos and green tea, and 75% of its fruit and herbal tea comes from accredited schemes.
Working in partnership with independent expert partner, Ergon Associates, Lidl looked in depth at how even the smallest decision had the potential to directly or indirectly impact internationally recognised human rights within its Kenyan tea supply chain. The retailer has used the information to leverage its scale and buying power to drive meaningful change.
Martina Petrovic, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Lidl GB, said: “We are proud, on World Human Rights Day, to be the first UK retailer to publish a HRIA, particularly given it is related to our Kenyan tea, a key commodity for our business and loved by our customers. It has been a great insight for us to learn more about our suppliers and growers in Kenya and understand where the decisions we make can have an impact on local communities and workers we rely on within our supply chain.
“This report represents a fundamental step towards greater supply chain transparency, and further demonstrates our firm commitment to providing affordable, high quality produce that is good for the planet, good for producers and good for people.”
Through a rigorous action plan four key areas of focus have been created:
- Increasing the impact of certification schemes – A commitment to working with key stakeholders, including Fairtrade and The Rainforest Alliance, to help increase the positive impacts of certification schemes as well as tackling any potential challenges.
- Engaging directly with Kenyan Stakeholders – Working with the supply chain to keep understanding our impacts better and to directly mitigate the risks that have been identified.
- Adapting Purchasing Practices - Strengthen buying practices by introducing new methods of assessment, such as an ethical supplier scorecard, that will go beyond current requirements for suppliers.
- Supporting Systemic Change in the tea sector - Continue to develop supply chain transparency and support collaborative approaches to tackling systemic issues, such as working towards living wages.
As part of Lidl’s Human Rights Due Diligence Policy published in March 2020, the Lidl Group has committed to conducting three HRIAs a year until 2025. This includes reports on its Spanish berries and South American bananas, which are expected in the next 12 months. This forms part of the business’s already industry leading commitments to Human Rights due diligence, which includes being the first global retailer to publish its first-tier suppliers and committing to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Notes to Editors
About Human Rights Impact Assessment
The aim of conducting HRIAs is to understand where and how specific business and supply chain activities have the potential to impact internationally recognised human rights. This allows a business to expand on information regarding key risks, including any root causes identified; gather feedback from relevant ‘rightsholders’ and their views related to actual or potential impacts. A framework is then set out for robust and workable activities to mitigate or remediate potential and actual negative impacts and enhance positive impacts.
To ensure a systematic approach is taken for a HRIA, a methodology is determined which is consistent with international frameworks and stakeholder expectations, notably the UN Guiding Principles (UNGPs) , the OECD, Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and the OECD‑FAO Guidance for Responsible Agricultural Supply Chains.
About Lidl GB
Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl has experienced continuous growth and today has over 25,000 employees, over 800 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales. As part of the Schwarz retail group, Lidl is one of Europe’s leading organisations in the food retail industry. With a presence in 32 countries around the world, the supermarket, which has more than 310,000 employees globally, currently operates approximately 11,200 stores and more than 200 warehouses and distribution centres in 29 countries globally. The family supermarket takes pride in providing its customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout Great Britain, from Kirkwall to the Isle of Wight. Social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the company's daily operations, with the company placing a strong emphasis on its responsibility for people, society and the environment. Lidl GB is passionate about working with British producers and sources two thirds of its products from British suppliers.
The Schwarz Group (Kaufland, Lidl) has been Europe's largest food retailer since 2014 and generated a turnover of €104.3 billion in financial year 2018.
For more information about Lidl GB visit https://corporate.lidl.co.uk/