Various nuts in supermarket

We are happy to announce that ALDI SOUTH Group 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 traceable nut sector. SNI’s participants are committed to improve the transparency in the nut chain, strengthening the relationship with farmer cooperatives and working towards volume and quality improvement. We talked to ALDI about their motivation to join SNI.

The ALDI SOUTH Group (“ALDI”) is a global food retail company and operates in eleven countries on four continents and employs around 157,000 members of staff. ALDI offers between 1,470 and 1,940 core range products and a changing selection of special buys every week in more than 6,500 stores worldwide. Simplicity, consistency, and responsibility are the core values of the ALDI SOUTH Group. ALDI’s business model is simple: great quality at the best price, fair and honest product offers, and efficient business processes. ALDI is committed to fostering fair working conditions and environmentally friendly production in the cultivation and processing of nuts. ALDI’s range of nut products includes snacking nuts, nut ingredients and nut spreads.

Why do you think an Initiative like SNI is important?

We believe that a collaborative approach is the best way to achieve the greatest impact and to ensure human rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. This is especially true for the global sourcing, processing and retailing of nuts, as the different nut supply chains are diverse and often complex. Our partnership with the SNI will allow ALDI to have conversations with key players in the global nut supply chain and by focusing on sector-specific initiatives like the SNI will enable us to discuss and advance industry standards with like-minded partners and industry leaders.

Why did Aldi join SNI?

According to their motto “Securing sustainable supply”, SNI participants are dedicated to join forces to bring the nut sector to a higher level in terms of professionalism, sustainability and quality. Working with retailers, manufacturers and growers alike, we want to strengthen relationships in complex supply chains, develop scalable approaches for improving local working conditions, sharing best practices and shape future industry standards. One of our first steps will be to focus on transparency and traceability, we believe that this is the foundation to sustainable sourcing.

What is the main challenge for ALDI when you look at nuts and sustainability?

Nut origins and production processes vary significantly, so each nut type and its value chain is unique and comes with its own social and environmental challenges. One striking example are the complexities of global cashew supply chains, which often span from cultivation in West African countries to processing in mainly Vietnam and India. This not only inhibits traceability and transparency in general, but also creates challenges when retailers seek to increase their stakeholder engagement and capacity building. In contrast, the Brazil nut supply chains are geographically concentrated in Latin America, but face potential human rights impacts associated with poor living conditions or the rights of indigenous communities. Whilst we are primarily focused on human rights, we also recognise that many of our nut supply chains are also at risk from environmental factors such as deforestation and climate change and where possible we will seek to support activities that will mitigate these issues.

What SNI can bring to tackle this challenge?

By working together within SNI, we believe that we can make a positive impact on the challenges that nut supply chains are facing. To realise our commitments, we especially see transparency and traceability as the decisive foundation for more sustainable sourcing of nuts. Due to these shared objectives, we believe that the Sustainable Nut Initiative is the ideal platform to establish this groundwork and to drive progress in the whole sector towards better agricultural practises, improved social standards, and ultimately more sustainable products.

What do you expect from SNI?

We are excited to work with the SNI and we intend to be a proactive participant.  Hands-on interaction will help to set industry standards and create an environment where actors can exchange best practice models in the nut sector. We believe that SNI will play an important part in making global nut supply chains more sustainable.

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