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Les supermarchés internationaux manquent de vigilance quant aux conditions de travail dans leurs chaînes d'approvisionnement, selon Oxfam

En octobre 2019, Oxfam a publié un rapport dénonçant des abus des droits de travailleurs impliqués dans les chaînes d'approvisionnement de certains supermarchés internationaux. La recherche de l'ONG s'est concentrée sur la production du thé et de fruits. Les abus incluraient : la discrimination fondée sur le sexe, des conditions de travail pénibles et une trop faible rémunération.

Le Centre de Ressources sur les Entreprises et les Droits de l'Homme a invité Albertsons, Aldi North, Aldi South, Costco, Edeko Group, Kroger, Lidl, Morrisons, Plus, REWE Group, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Walmaty et Whole Foods Market à répondre. Albertsons, Aldi North, Aldi South, Morrisons, REWE Group, Tesco, Sainsbury's et Whole Foods Market ont envoyé une réponse, disponible ci-dessous en anglais.

Costco, Edeka Group, Lidl, Plus et Walmart n'ont pas répondu.

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Article
22 October 2019

Les supermarchés internationaux manquent de vigilance quant aux conditions de travail dans leurs chaînes d'approvisionnement, selon Oxfam

Auteur: Claire Fages, RFI

« Thé ou mangue: les supermarchés peu vigilants sur les conditions de travail », 10 octobre 2019 

Les supermarchés ne sont pas assez vigilants sur les conditions dans lesquelles sont cueillis le thé ou les mangues qui se retrouvent dans les rayons, selon Oxfam. L'ONG a mené une enquête auprès de 510 travailleurs de 50 plantations de thé de l'Assam, dans le nord-est de l'Inde. Un quart dépendent de cartes de rationnement pour se nourrir, un tiers sont endettés vis-à-vis de leur employeur, les femmes travaillent souvent treize heures par jour à la cueillette, sans accès à l'eau potable. Dans la mangue, le raisin ou le melon au Brésil, les témoignages de mauvais traitements et de forte exposition aux pesticides sont légion.

Sur seize enseignes européennes interrogées -  à noter que les enseignes françaises n'étaient pas dans le radar cette fois -, seule une, Albert Heijn, la chaîne de supermarchés hollandais, s'est engagée en 2019 au respect des droits humains chez ses fournisseurs. Pour ce qui est des droits des travailleurs, sept enseignes ont amélioré leur score, en particulier les Britanniques Tesco, Sainsbury's et Morrisons, mais huit sont à la traîne, dont les chaînes de supermarché allemandes Aldi, Lidl, et Plus. Pas mieux pour l'enseigne bio anglo-saxone Whole Foods, rachetée par Amazon. Pour ce qui est du sort particulier des femmes, dix enseignes ne prévoient rien.

Le devoir de vigilance de la grande distribution avance moins vite dans le secteur agricole que dans le textile... il manque encore, souligne Oxfam, une directive européenne en la matière.

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Réponse
+ English - Cacher
21 October 2019

Sainsbury's response

Auteur: Sainsbury's

... All our tea sourcing from Assam... is either Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade accredited. We would need more information from Oxfam to investigate the tea estates highlighted in their report... Our suppliers support actions that allow a living wage, recognising that this requires a collaborative effort from different stakeholders across the industry. They promote the PLA reform and thus support producers in achieving a living wage and decent working conditions...

One of the Brazilian companies mentioned in the Oxfam report is an indirect supplier to us. They are noted for their good practices but some unacceptable working conditions are mentioned regarding one of their farms, which we do not source from. Nevertheless, we are following up with the supplier on the allegations. We acknowledge the difficulties with sourcing from Brazil with the current political landscape and we are working to support our suppliers...

... [W]e will be taking the Oxfam recommendations into account and work to understand where we can have the greatest impact for positive change...

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Réponse
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18 October 2019

Albertsons' response

Auteur: Albertsons

As a food company that carries thousands of products from around the world, we recognize our responsibility to ensure that our suppliers adhere to our strict policies pertaining to worker rights. We are committed to conducting business in a lawful and ethical manner and expect our vendors to conduct themselves in the same manner. Our engagement with seafood suppliers in Thailand and the Seafood Taskforce, which Oxfam noted, is just one example of this commitment.

We confirmed with Oxfam during their Brazilian fruit and Assam Tea investigation that Albertsons Companies’ Own Brands products are not directly supplied from any of the vendors identified in Oxfam’s investigation.

Réponse
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18 October 2019

ALDI SOUTH's response

Auteur: ALDI SOUTH Group

... We are also aware of the particular human rights challenges in the production of tea... [A] proportion of our tea productions are either UTZ/Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade or Organic certified and we are working to increase the percentage of certified tea available to our customers.

... [B]ut we are aware that they may not always identify hidden issues such as forced labour, discrimination or harassment. We therefore commit to adopt an approach to ethical trade that goes beyond compliance and does not rely solely on certification, complementing our approach with additional activity such as our own on-site visits, supplier and producer communication and training, participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives, capacity building and projects on the ground. Introducing permanent improvements to working conditions requires a collaborative approach to ethical trade between ALDI SOUTH and our suppliers....

Over the next five years, we intend to further address issues within our supply chains via a number of measures, including a review of policies and processes, traceability and supply chain mapping, social auditing and certification, further integration of CR criteria into the buying process, participation in multi-stakeholder initiatives and capacity building measures...

The ALDI SOUTH Group shares the core values behind Oxfam’s efforts and we continue to have constructive dialogue with Oxfam.

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Réponse
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18 October 2019

Kroger's response

Réponse
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18 October 2019

Morrisons' response

Auteur: Morrisons

... We have been engaged with Oxfam since the commencement of their Behind the Barcodes campaign and have already made progress in a number of areas ... This resulted in Morrisons being acknowledged in this year's report as being one of three supermarkets who "committed to doing far more than others to ensure respect for workers’ rights in their supply chains". We are also in discussion with the Oxfam team on the development of a long term plan to implement their wider recommendations for retailers.

Oxfam's investigations into conditions in tea and tropical fruit supply chains highlight the significant issues and challenges faced by some agricultural workers on a daily basis. We do not source from the farms mentioned in the Brazil research, and no specific plantations are identified in Assam, meaning we cannot ascertain whether our tea supply chain is directly impacted. However, we are actively engaged with all our suppliers of these products to ensure that adequate due diligence is undertaken to identify risk, and action is taken to protect workers where required...

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Réponse
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18 October 2019

Tesco's response

Auteur: Tesco

...We support Oxfam’s clear framework... We are in the process of developing specific actions plans to greater support progress on gender equality and living wages in key supply chains...

All our own label black tea sold in the UK is 100% Rainforest Alliance certified... [W]e also assess each tea producer against defined ethical criteria and we will only source from producers once we are satisfied they meet our minimum requirements... [W]e buy larger volumes of tea from producers who have scored highly in our assessments, ensuring that our purchasing practices align with our approach to human rights.

... [W]e are the only multi retail member of the Ethical Tea Partnership... We are also funding and working in partnership with Unicef and the Ethical Tea Partnership to support women and young people in Assam...

...In September 2019... Tesco... visited several Brazilian suppliers and identified opportunities to improve labour conditions... Tesco is requesting all our sites to promote either the creation of stand-alone worker committees to deal with all labour issues or to broaden the mandate of the health and safety committees. A vital part of this change is to train worker representatives on how to effectively deal with these issues as well as ensuring all workers are made aware of this new service by their elected representatives.

... [W]e have also been engaging SEDEX, SMETA auditors and Rainforest Alliance to improve the quality of auditors...

[I]it is absolutely essential that no worker is being exposed to dangerous chemicals... We will be engaging our suppliers and audit bodies on this matter... Extensive risk-based product testing is done to identify the use of unauthorised chemicals, and we will be enhancing this testing for any products from Northern Brazil as a result of the concerns raised.

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Réponse
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17 October 2019

Aldi North's response

Auteur: Aldi North

... We are aware of the particular human rights challenges in the production of tea, including in the Assam state, as identified in the recent Oxfam report. We source tea from the region of Assam exclusively from producers who have been certified by the Rainforest Alliance and Ethical Tea Partnership; the majority of these growers are also certified organic and Fairtrade... 

We will continue to adjust our buying practices to address adverse impacts on human rights. As our tea products are not sourced directly from producers, rather from suppliers who commission the manufacture or import of the products, collaborating with our suppliers is an essential factor in achieving our sustainability goals, resolving problems and driving continuous improvement along our entire supply chains...

In the near future, we will further address the challenges identified by undertaking a range of measures, including but not limited to revising existing policies and processes, ensuring greater supply chain traceability, increasing social audits and certifications, further integrating our CR criteria into the purchasing process and participating in multi-stakeholder initiatives...

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Réponse
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17 October 2019

Whole Foods' response

Auteur: Whole Foods Market

Oxfam’s latest report does not accurately reflect Whole Foods Market’s long-standing efforts to address human rights and labor issues in our supply chain, including instituting programs like our Whole Trade Guarantee that ensure fair and safe working conditions for suppliers across the globe. We have a proven track record of taking immediate action with suppliers when potential concerns surface and remain committed to supply chain transparency and ethical sourcing, which are areas we continue to invest in. We are disappointed that Oxfam chose to selectively publish the information we provided on our business practices in response to their report, and that they chose not to initially share any level of detail on the allegations made against specific farms...

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Réponse
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14 October 2019

REWE Group's response

Auteur: REWE Group

... [W]e are also in close and constructive contact with OXFAM...

...The certification of our suppliers contributes to ecological and social improvements in the growing countries and to increased transparency in the supply chain, although we do not want to rest on our laurels. Our REWE Group Guideline for Tea will be published shortly...

...The Oxfam report neither establishes a chronological classification nor a concrete reference with which we could pursue the generally formulated accusations in a targeted manner. At this point, we would like to assure you that we will not tolerate proven violations of national laws, ILO standards and minimum wages at suppliers and will sanction them if they are proven - even to the point of discontinuation...

Compared to the previous Oxfam study from 2018, REWE Group has already improved its results in three out of four categories. This alone clearly shows that REWE Group is making great efforts to identify and remedy any legal infringements and/or grievances along the private label supply chains...

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