Source: Oxfam

The petition was handed over at Lidl’s offices in Wimbledon by student campaigners in fruit & vegetable costumes

Oxfam has delivered a petition signed by 10,000 people to Lidl head office, urging more action on human rights in the supermarket’s global supply chain.

Earlier this year, Lidl came bottom in Oxfam’s annual ranking of six of the UK’s biggest supermarkets based on published human rights safeguards.

The Behind the Barcodes campaign ranked Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi and Lidl. Lidl scored 9% overall, while rival Aldi climbed from last place in 2018 to fourth, with 19%.

Oxfam’s petition, which is ongoing, gained 10,000 signatures in 10 days, at street campaigning events and online, according to the charity.

Read more: What does Oxfam’s supermarket human rights report really tell us?

The signatures were handed over at Lidl’s offices in Wimbledon by student campaigners in fruit & vegetable costumes. The students also carried a banner playing on the discounter’s marketing slogan by accusing it of being ‘Big on talk, Lidl on action’.

“Human suffering should play no part in the food on any supermarket shelf,” said Oxfam ethical trade manager Rachel Wilshaw.

“Lidl has the least policies in place to protect the workers who grow and process its food, lagging behind the other five UK supermarkets.”

A Lidl spokesman said: ”At Lidl, we operate with a fundamental respect for the rights of the people we interact with, whether they be our own direct employees, contract workers or people employed throughout our supply chains, and are firmly opposed to all forms of labour exploitation.

”We are driving improvements in labour standards across our supply chain and improving transparency around working conditions.”

In July, in the wake of Oxfam’s verdict, Lidl claimed the ranking was not an accurate reflection of progress but accepted there was more work to do. It said it would undertake human rights impact assessments over the coming year.