Aldi and Fairtrade scale up commitment to Ethiopian flower workers

Aldi has partnered with the Fairtrade Foundation to scale up its commitment to flower workers in Ethiopia.

The discount grocer, which is the second largest retailer of Fairtrade flowers in the UK, is entering the next stage of a £400,000 programme to empower 13,000 women in the sector and tackle some of the systemic challanges they face.

The ‘Improved Workers’ Rights in Ethiopian Flowers’ inniative, which is set to run until 2025, looks to enhance representation of women in management structures and on worker committees.

It also aims to improve worker health and safety, create a decent working environment and increase women’s literacy through savings schemes and better access to finance.

In 2022, Aldi sourced 2.7 million Fairtade bouquets and raised over £160k in Fairtrade Premium for workers to invest in community or business needs.

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This action comes as young female migrant workers on Ethiopian flower plantations face poor job security and low wages, while trade unions in the sector have limited reach and impact, despite the industry employing more than 70% women.

“It is essential to support the countries around the world where our products are produced in order to help address equality challenges and create fair and supportive working environments,” Aldi UK director of corporate responsibility, Liz Fox said.

“We are focused on maintaining high standards throughout our supply chain and we are pleased to continue to partner with Fairtrade to both empower and protect women, as well as give them the tools and support they need to take on leadership roles on farms in their communities.”

Fairtrade Foundation director of partnerships, Kerrina Thorogood said: “This continued commitment by our partners will ensure that workers are able to advocate for their rights as well as inclusion of women, youth and vulnerable persons.”

She added that by buying Fairtrade products at the disocunt grocer such as flowers from Ethiopia, customers “can be confident that their purchase will have a positive and meaningful impact on workers in the supply chain.”



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