SUSTAINABLE SOURCING OF FRUIT & VEG

Raw material goals

Lidl GB is committed to sourcing fruit and vegetables in a responsible and sustainable way. This includes supporting the British farming economy and, when seasonally possible, sourcing fruit and vegetables from long-term British suppliers.

In 2016, Lidl signed up to the NFU fruit and veg pledge, committing to work in a sustainable way with all its growers. Through this pledge we committed to sourcing products from suppliers who uphold high social and environmental standards, and work with suppliers that have internationally recognised schemes to accredit these practices.

We acknowledge that the agricultural industry has a largely migrant workforce, which can be more vulnerable to exploitation, poor working conditions and human rights violations. We recognise that there are risks throughout agricultural supply chains including labour rights, human rights, health and safety issues and environmental impacts.

Through the commitments shared in our Fruit & Veg Sourcing Policy we are taking steps to ensure that the workers, farmers and communities who produce, pack and deliver the fruit and vegetables we sell in our stores are treated fairly, and receive safe and decent working and living conditions.

Learn what we are working on specifically with our banana supply chain here.

Our Commitment

We are committed to sourcing 100% of our fruit and vegetables from sources that have been certified to independent environmental and social standards.

Supporting the NFU’s Fruit and Veg Pledge

Raw materials - Cocoa

As a business we do not subscribe to short-term fixes.  We are committed to developing fair and long-term solutions for our growers by working together in a logical and sustainable manner.  

Our business model enables us to build strong, long-standing relationships with our suppliers.  We operate a small, dedicated buying team with a simple, flat reporting structure, presenting our growers with streamlined channels of communication.   This arrangement allows us to truly appreciate our suppliers’ individual issues and improve stock management, and is vital to maintaining mutually beneficial relationships in the longer term.  

For us, deeply understanding the complexities and fluctuations in crop production and market activity is vital. We can only advise, plan and discuss effectively when these issues are properly acknowledged.  Crucially, we work closely with our suppliers to plan production volumes with a flexible approach that can maximise product availability and turn oversupply situations into a positive.

We communicate openly and transparently with our suppliers to provide the certainty and confidence required for continued growth.  We never impose hidden costs or retrospectively amend agreements, which would entirely contradict our way of working, undermining the deep-seated trust we have built.

Improving Standards of Worker Accommodation

The provision of temporary worker accommodation within fresh produce supply chains is common place. We are taking steps to ensure that temporary accommodation provided to workers in our supply chains meet the requirements needed for a decent standard of living. Through collaboration with other retailers and our suppliers, we have developed best practice guidance on the issue of temporary worker accommodation. These have been shared with all our UK based suppliers along with a training package to guide suppliers through the standards. Further information can be found here.

Working towards living wages with the CSR Juice Platform

The Juice CSR Platform is a vision-driven platform offering a space for collaboration and continuous improvement where all sector and supply chain stakeholders are included. The Platform enables stakeholders to work together to find solutions to common Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)-related opportunities, challenges and concerns as reflected in the CSR Principles. The Juice CSR platform’s overall objective is to support, guide and inspire juice stakeholders to integrate CSR throughout the supply chain. As part of our membership of the platform we are supporting a living wage study in the Brazilian orange supply chain to understand the existing gaps between actual wages and living wages. The findings of this study will be used to inform a sector-wide approach to closing the wage gap.

Spanish Ethical Trade Forum

Spanish Ethical Trade Forum (SETF)

The Spanish Ethical Trade Forum is a collaboration between retailers, suppliers and growers working to improve conditions in the Spanish produce sector. Since March 2020 we have sat on the governance group alongside other retailers and suppliers.

The forums enable suppliers that operate in Southern Spain to share best practice and discuss any challenges facing the agricultural industry on a day-to-day basis. In addition, suppliers and retailers collaborate to share innovative ideas and solutions to modern slavery risks and labour exploitation.

Use of Pesticides

Lidl is committed to reducing the use of pesticides within its supply chains and ensuring they are applied in a responsible and sustainable way. Pesticides are used within the supply chain to prevent damage caused by pests to fruit and vegetable products, ensuring that our customers receive the highest quality of fruit and vegetable products. Pesticides can leave residues on fruit and vegetable products, however through our Lidl Pesticide Reduction Programme we have committed to achieving sustainable reductions of pesticides within our supply chain.

Click here for more information on our Pesticide Reduction Programme

Responsible and Sustainable Sourcing