Lidl is one of Europe’s leading supermarket chains and has had a growing foothold in Malta for some time. However, the international giant recently received one of the worst scores in Oxfam’s report on the working conditions of the people who produce the food that ends up on our shelves.
The report forms part of the #BehindTheBarcodes campaign and is geared at improving the lives of workers who are “trapped in poverty and face brutal working conditions”.
For the scorecard, Oxfam assessed some of the world’s leading supermarkets’ publicly disclosed policies and practices in four key areas: transparency, which includes informing consumers about where food comes from, conditions for workers, conditions for small-scale farmers and tackling discrimination against women.
With a total score of 9/100, Lidl scored 24/100 when it came to transparency, 6/100 with regards to the conditions of workers, 8/100 for the conditions for farmers… and an abysmal zero when it came to women.
“It is especially concerning that Morrisons and Lidl continue to receive no score for ensuring that women workers are treated fairly and equally,” Rachel Wilshaw, Oxfam’s Ethical Trade Manager, said. “More targeted measures are needed to tackle the exploitation of women workers as this remains a major weakness across all of the supermarket supply chains.”
The giant’s score actually improved from 2018, jumping up from 5% to 9%. However, they’re still one of the lowest ranking European supermarket chains in the report.
On a whole, Oxfam found that Europe’s biggest supermarkets have made slow progress to remove human suffering from their global food supply chains, with the UK’s Tesco’s (38/100) and Sainsbury’s (23/100) recording the highest scores.
Lovin Malta had attempted to conduct a similar exercise with some of the country’s leading supermarkets. However, questions sent to all of the chains on 10th June remain unanswered.