Today, the largest retailer of the Netherlands, Albert Heijn, has announced to scale up its efforts to tackle human rights issues in its supply chains. The retailer made this statement in reaction to a campaign by Oxfam Novib aimed at improving the circumstances of farmers and workers in food producing countries.
Albert Heijn announced to investigate human rights topics such as women’s rights, living wage and working conditions via its own due diligence approach. It is interesting that the company mentions that it will look beyond certification and make its own assessment of the hotspots. The initial focus will be on its private labels, for which the retailer aims to establish transparency about origin and suppliers. The company will try to involve workers, labor unions and farmers to tackle the identified issues in the supply chains.
Specific for the nut sector, Albert Heijn has announced ambitions and activities for three different subcategories: the category where water is the main sustainability issue, the category hazelnuts and the category nuts from high-risk countries. High-risk countries are defined in accordance with the BSCI-ranking. In the frame below the specific objectives for the different nut categories can be found.
The approach taken seamlessly fits the approach of SNI in which transparency in the chain is established, risks in the supply chain are tackled and positive impact on the livelihood of farmers and workers is obtained via projects on the ground. SNI welcomes this step and gladly helps Albert Heijn reach its objectives in the nut category.