We are happy to announce that ALDI Nord Group of Companies has become a participant of the Sustainable Nut Initiative (SNI). SNI brings key players in the nut industry together to strategically develop sustainable supply chains and a transparent nut sector. SNI’s participants are committed to improve the transparency in their supply chain, to strengthen the relationship with farmer cooperatives and to work towards volume and quality improvement. We talked to CR Specialist CR/QA International, Jennifer Vocke, about their motivation to join SNI.
ALDI Nord is one of the leading international retail enterprises and focuses on simplicity and the essentials. ALDI Nord offers customers in nine European countries, high-quality products at the lowest possible price. Key to the continuing success of ALDI Nord is its workforce of over 80,000 ALDI employees in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
Why do you think an Initiative such as SNI is important?
The nut sector faces a multitude of human rights and environmental challenges, such as forced labour and precarious living conditions on farm level as well as deforestation and water scarcity. We are convinced that promising risk mitigation and due diligence measures in the nut sector are most effectively developed in a precompetitive environment that pools the experience, the knowledge and the innovative capacity of all stakeholders involved.
As a pre-competitive collaboration platform the Sustainable Nut Initiative offers the opportunity to generate and share knowledge, to discuss with other stakeholders on a regular basis and to jointly identify and realise effective measures and projects.
Why did ALDI Nord join SNI?
The Sustainable Nut Initiative is a well-known multi-stakeholder initiative for nuts in Europe. We regard this initiative a promising partner and platform to foster transparent and socially harmless nut value chains. The ALDI Nord Group of Companies is already working to improve transparency and traceability in its nut value chains as a basis for the protection of human rights to which we have committed ourselves. In view of our shared objectives, we consider our membership in the SNI to be highly meaningful and mutually beneficial to promote sectoral changes alongside key stakeholders.
What is the main challenge for ALDI Nord when you look at sustainability issues?
Ensuring transparency and traceability in our supply chains is one of the biggest challenges we face as an international retailer. For our identified high-risk raw materials, which include nuts, we identify grievances through audits and risk analyses. Based on this, we develop strategies, formulate specific requirements for our suppliers and commit to our purchasing policies to address global social and environmental sustainability challenges. Our goal is to ensure sustainable product sourcing so that customers can buy from us with a clear conscience.
What can SNI bring to tackle this challenge(s)?
SNI sees the same challenges in the implementation of sustainability criteria as ALDI Nord does, and with its tools and solutions offers the right approach for us to meet the challenges together: transparency and traceability as a crucial first step, a risk-based approach to focus on the most urgent sustainability risks in the producing countries and continuous improvement to work on risk mitigation.
What is your expectation of SNI?
To jointly tackle social and environmental challenges within the nut supply chains. We strive to be part of an active and open exchange with the SNI participants and contribute by sharing insights and knowledge as one of the leading international retail companies. We are looking forward to benefit from SNI’s risk-based approach, the systematic data collection and assessment and its work on traceability solutions that will help to step by step enhance transparency across the nut supply chains.