Discount Retail Chain Lidl Germany (owned by the German Schwarz Group) has been consistently committed to more sustainable standards and fair trade in global supply chains for years. As early as 2006, the company was the first retailer in Germany to introduce "Fairglobe", its own brand for fair trade products such as coffee and organic bananas. Since summer 2019, conventional bananas with Fairtrade certification have also been available in all German Lidl stores. The food retailer pursues an approach for fair wages and incomes, which includes transparency on the wage and income situation of people in global supply chains, responsible purchasing practices and the implementation of scalable pilot projects.
As part of the Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA), Lidl is therefore working on a new industry-wide pilot project on living wages and incomes in the banana sector in Ecuador and other countries, which was presented today at an INA kick-off event. The project envisages a conversion of at least 50 percent of the entire range of bananas in Germany to living wages and incomes by 2025. "In order to achieve long-term improvements and more transparency, national and international players must work together with consistent measures," says Christoph Graf, Head of Purchasing at Lidl in Germany. "We therefore expressly welcome.
Consistent Lidl commitment to fair trade in global supply chains
Lidl also focuses on other raw materials and products on living incomes and wages for smallholders in the producing countries. The grocer underlines its commitment to fair wages, especially with its 15-year strategic partnership with Fairtrade. Lidl pays the largest number of Fairtrade premiums worldwide for producers in the global south. "By offering Fairtrade-certified products in all branches, Lidl is an important partner for reaching consumers widely and increasing the market share of fair trade goods," explains Dieter Overath, Managing Director of Fairtrade Germany.
The "Way to go" project, a milestone in Lidl's commitment to fair incomes, shows what a fair distribution of values can look like in retail. With the Fairtrade-certified "Way to Go" chocolate, the company enables additional income for cocoa farmers in Ghana.
Lidl is also involved in the non-food sector and, to date, is the only grocer from Germany to send the important signal by joining the "ACT On Living Wages" initiative to tackle fair wages in textile supply chains even more effectively. ACT is an industry-wide, globally unique agreement with the aim of jointly promoting living wages and collective bargaining in companies in the textile and shoe industry.