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Oxfam releases 2nd scoring of US & European supermarkets’ global food supply chains

Oxfam has assessed 16 large supermarkets across the US and Europe on their policies and practices in their food supply chains. The supermarkets were assessed on publicly disclosed policies and practices in four key areas: supply chain transparency; conditions for workers; conditions for small-scale farmers; and tackling discrimination against women. The scores reveal overall the supermarkets are making slow progress to end human suffering in global supply chains, with particularly low scores in the theme on women. 

The supermarket scorecard, which is in its second year, is part of Oxfam’s global #behindthebarcodes campaign to improve the lives of the millions of people around the world producing food for supermarkets who are trapped in poverty and face brutal working conditions.

The second scorecard is below. Further analysis and global reports on both scorecards are available below, along with separate reports on Dutch, German, UK & US supermarkets.

 ⬅  Use the companies list in the left-hand side to explore the articles, reports, reported human rights allegations and company responses we hold on these supermarkets.

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Article
3 July 2019

Oxfam benchmark reveals supermarkets lack sufficient policies to protect people who produce our food

Author: Monica Romis, Oxfam

"What are supermarkets doing to tackle human suffering in their supply chains?", 3 July 2019

The 2019 Supermarket Scorecard shows that... all supermarkets lack sufficient policies to properly protect the people who produce our food. No supermarket does even 40% of what the Oxfam benchmark asks them to...

While some companies are making real progress in certain areas, others lag behind. Four areas consistently stand out as priorities for action:    

  • Supply chain transparency. No supermarket currently gives consumers basic information about the suppliers they buy their food from...
  • Living wages. No supermarket ensures that the workers and producers in their supply chains are paid enough to eat properly...
  • Gender equality. Bar Sainsbury’s and Walmart, no supermarket supports suppliers who take gender equality seriously, or source more from women-owned businesses. 
  • Unfair trading practices. Supermarkets use a range of practices that pressure suppliers – squeezing their ability to pay workers a living wage...

Read the full post here

Article
3 July 2019

UK: Supermarkets making slow progress to end human suffering in global supply chains, acc. to Oxfam

Author: Oxfam GB

"UK supermarkets making slow progress to end human suffering in global supply chains", 3 July 2019

Six of the UK’s biggest supermarkets have made slow progress in the last year to remove human suffering from their global food supply chains, according to... Oxfam.

The supermarket scorecard, which is in its second year, is part of Oxfam’s global campaign to improve the lives of the millions of people around the world producing food for supermarkets who are trapped in poverty and face brutal working conditions...

... Oxfam’s Ethical Trade Manager, said “Supermarkets have the power to be a force for good in ending suffering and abuse so it’s encouraging that all six UK supermarkets have made improvements over the last year. But it is clear they are still falling a long way short of what needs to be done to ensure that the people who produce our food are properly rewarded and protected...

Supermarket                    June 2019      June 2018 
Tesco                                     38%                    23%
Sainsbury’s                          27%                    18%
Asda                                       23%                   17%
Aldi                                         19%                    1%
Morrisons                             16%                    5%
Lidl                                           9 %                   5%

Read the full post here

Article
22 October 2018

Aldi to appoint human & labour rights director following their low Oxfam ranking on protecting workers in co's supply chain

Author: The Grocer

"Aldi to appoint human and labour rights director", 18 Oct 2018

Aldi is to appoint a senior international director responsible for human and labour rights and publish an international human rights policy... 

The development comes after the German retailer was urged to “up its game” and “drive out suffering and hunger” from its supply chains by Oxfam director of campaign and policy Matthew Spencer...

It is not clear when Aldi will appoint the human and labour rights director or when its international human rights policy will be published. 

“We respect human rights and have comprehensive policies in place to ensure that everyone in our supply chain who makes, grows and supplies our products is treated fairly,” an Aldi spokeswoman said. 

“Oxfam’s report is based on desktop research of publicly available information and was conducted almost a year ago. It is misleading and not representative of our current position. 

“We are meeting with Oxfam next week to provide them with more accurate information and we are disappointed that they have taken this action before meeting with us to fully understand our policies and practices.” [also refers to Tesco, Morrisons, Lidl]

Read the full post here

Report
21 June 2018

Global Report - Ripe for Change: Ending Human Suffering in Supermarket Supply Chains

Author: Oxfam International

...Inequality is rampant across the global economy, and the agro‐food sector is no exception. At the top, big supermarkets4 and other corporate food giants dominate global food markets, allowing them to squeeze value from vast supply chains that span the globe, while at the bottom the bargaining power of small‐scale farmers and workers has been steadily eroded in many of the countries from which they source... The result is widespread human suffering among the women and men producing food for supermarkets around the world... Oxfam’s Supermarkets Scorecard sets challenging new benchmarks for the industry to move towards a fairer and more inclusive supply chain model. Achieving them will not be easy, and they are no substitute for the measures required of other stakeholders, such as government, but they offer a path for supermarkets to demonstrate their commitment to fairer, more sustainable supply chains for the women and men who work in them...

Download the full document here

Report
21 June 2018

Oxfam assessment of Dutch supermarket's food supply chains

Author: Oxfam Novib

The Dutch supermarket sector is heavily consolidated, with the two largest supermarket chains controlling over 50% of the market... At the same time, supermarkets are competing with each other fiercely in the battle for consumers. They try to attract customers by offering low prices for good quality food and a wide variety of options year-round. The growing dominance of supermarkets in the food sector in the Netherlands and elsewhere, through the use of this competitive model, has negative impacts on millions of farmers and workers who grow and process food under harsh conditions... The Oxfam research highlights abuses of fundamental human rights which are tied into the vast global value chains that supermarkets have come to rely on... 

Oxfam’s Supermarkets Scorecard... shows that the top five Dutch retailers do not have the systems and policies in place to ensure the necessary levels of transparency, accountability and due diligence that could help them prevent, mitigate and address human rights issues in their supply chains...

Download the full document here

Report
21 June 2018

Oxfam assessment of German supermarket's food supply chains

Author: Oxfam Germany

...A new Supermarkets Scorecard developed by Oxfam rates some of the biggest and fastest growing supermarkets in Germany...on the strength of their publicly available policies and reported practices to address human rights and social sustainability issues. The analysis paints a clear picture: none of the ‘Big Four’ German supermarket chains – the Aldi Group,8 Edeka, Lidl and Rewe – are living up to their responsibility to identify, publish and act upon the risk of human rights violations in their supply chains. Indeed, none of them scored higher than 8% in any of the evaluated themes. This means that Germany’s Big Four are among the worst-performing supermarkets assessed globally.

Download the full document here

Report
21 June 2018

Oxfam assessment of UK supermarket's food supply chains

Author: Oxfam GB

... In the UK, the grocery sector is one of the most diverse and sophisticated in the world, worth nearly £185bn per year... Supermarkets have delivered low prices, unparalleled year-round choice and ‘just in time’ convenience to many consumers in the UK. But they have done so by using their huge buyer power to exert relentless pressure on their suppliers to cut costs while meeting exacting quality requirements, often using a range of unfair trading practices to do so...A new Supermarkets Scorecard developed by Oxfam rates and ranks the most powerful UK supermarkets (the four largest and two fastest-growing) on the strength of their policies and practices to address human rights and social sustainability. The Scorecard sets challenging benchmarks based on robust international standards and widely recognized best practice on transparency and accountability, and on the treatment of workers, small-scale farmers and women in supply chains. These are all areas in which we believe UK supermarkets are well placed to drive positive change and maintain consumers’ trust...

Download the full document here

Report
21 June 2018

Oxfam assessment of US supermarket's food supply chains

Author: Oxfam US

...Given their tremendous market power and growing profits, food retailers can afford to act ethically and equitably. Unfortunately, the market leaders have failed to live up to this responsibility, instead using their huge buying power to exert continual pressure on their suppliers to cut costs and absorb risks... Oxfam's new Supermarkets Scorecard (presented in Section 6) assesses many of the leading US retailers to better understand how they perform when it comes to measuring social risks in their supply chains and how they can take action to address those problems. It shows an urgent need to better address those abuses that are commonly found in the products they source through increased commitment to policy and practice changes...

Download the full document here

Report
21 June 2018

Supermarket Responsibilities for Supply Chain Workers’ Rights

Author: Oxfam International and the Sustainable Seafood Alliance Indonesia

... Our interviews with workers on Thai fishing vessels... suggest that forced labour and other appalling employment practices are still in use. Our findings echo those of other recent reports, meaning that supermarkets sourcing shrimp and other seafood from the region still have urgent questions to answer about the conditions of fisheries workers behind the products they sell... for women, who make up 80–90% of the workforce at shrimp and other seafood processing plants,13 the challenges take place on land, not at sea.. supermarkets in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US have, on average, increased their share of the money their consumers spend on shrimp sourced from Indonesia and Thailand – as with many other supply chains – while the share left for actors in the producing countries has steadily declined.. It doesn’t have to be this way. While Oxfam’s new benchmarks are challenging, there is a strong business case for achieving them, including business opportunities in higher quality products, more resilient supply chains and a more honest relationship with supermarkets’ customers. Oxfam is calling for supermarkets to lead the food sector as a whole to shift power towards workers to ensure their rights are respected...

Download the full document here