Aldi UK has won an anti-slavery award for its efforts to stamp out exploitation in the supply chain.
The discounter beat a shortlist that also included Coca-Cola, IBM and Charoen Pokphand Foods to scoop the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Stop Slavery Enterprise Award for goods and service companies.
The supermarket was rewarded for its for its leadership in the fight to clean a high-risk and complex supply chain, according to the foundation. Judges also commended it for requiring suppliers and business partners to be trained in modern slavery awareness and legislation.
“We are delighted that Aldi has been recognised by the Thomson Reuters Foundation for our efforts in tackling this important issue,” said Fritz Walleczek, corporate responsibility MD for Aldi UK & Ireland.
“We will continue to work collaboratively to raise awareness and drive better standards. We hope that these awards inspire others to join forces and take positive steps to protect human rights.”
In 2018, Aldi came bottom on Oxfam’s annual scorecard ranking supermarkets for human rights, based on their published policies. But by July last year, the discounter had climbed two places to fourth, above last-placed Lidl and Morrisons in fifth. Tesco was first, Sainsbury’s second and Asda third.
Winners of other categories in the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Stop Slavery awards included Outland Denim, HSBC UK and Delta Air Lines.
In goods and services – a new category for this year – Aldi faced a panel of judges including Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth.
The winners were announced yesterday at a ceremony in London.
Previous winners of the annual awards, which were founded in 2015, include Apple, Unilever, Adidas and Intel.
Thomson Reuters Foundation CEO Antonio Zappulla said: “Our hope is that by highlighting and rewarding these incredible efforts, we will encourage others to follow suit. The fight against slavery is gathering pace. Now is the time to harness the momentum and drive forward future efforts to combat this global scourge.”