Belgium's biggest supermarkets not doing enough for human rights, study says

None of Belgium's major supermarkets are doing enough to ensure respect for human rights in their supply chains, according to a study by the European think tank Questionmark.

The report analysed the commitments of Aldi, Carrefour, Colruyt, Delhaize and Lidl to protect human rights, promote gender equality and uphold the rights of farmers worldwide.

Despite some ambitious projects, particularly in cocoa farming, the study found that none of the five supermarkets had implemented a comprehensive approach across their entire supply chains.

"This study is a wake-up call for supermarkets"

The new European due diligence directive requires such a comprehensive approach by 2027, the study says. "This study is therefore a wake-up call for supermarkets," said Jelle Goossens of the non-profit organisation Rikolto, which worked on the study.

According to the study, most supermarkets are doing their best to increase the income of farmers working in a few specific chains, such as banana plantations or the cocoa sector, but not many others.

The study also looked at what the major Belgian supermarkets are doing to protect the rights of European farmers. While some have signed long-term contracts with farmers and others buy from cooperatives, none of them "make a general commitment to ensuring fair and long-term sourcing from European farmers", the study found.



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