Improving Conditions in Bangladesh and Pakistan

Bangladesh is the world’s second-largest textile producer. There have been challenges associated with the rapid development of the garment industry in Bangladesh, including tragic factory fires and accidents, low wages, limits to workers’ freedom of association and long working hours. Aldi was one of the first signatories of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a legally binding agreement between global trade unions and brands/retailers that was set up following the Rana Plaza disaster on 14 May 2013, which killed over 1,120 workers and injured many more. The facility collapsed due to serious structural issues, highlighting the dangerous conditions many workers are subject to in Bangladesh.

In 2021, the Accord signatories reached a new phase in their partnership and established the International Accord for Health and Safety in the Textile & Garment Industry. The agreement continued the signatories’ commitment to supporting the workplace safety programs in Bangladesh and committed to establishing workplace safety programs in other countries based on feasibility studies.

Following this commitment, Aldi signed the new Pakistan Accord on 27 January 2023. The Pakistan Accord covers all Cut-Make-Trim (CMT) facilities, namely all Ready-Made Garment (RMG), home textile, fabric and knit accessories suppliers, producing products for the signatories. Fabric mills in Pakistan that are also supply chains of the signatories are covered by the Accord.

Introduction of Bangladesh Minimum Requirements (BMR) and Pakistan Minimum Requirements

In addition to the requirements of the Accord, we ask suppliers sourcing from Bangladesh and Pakistan to adhere to a specific set of requirements. These more stringent standards mitigate the specific risks of sourcing from Bangladesh and Pakistan, such as fire, electrical and building safety in factories.

In order to verify whether a supplier is capable of complying with our Aldi Business Partner Sustainability Standards (formerly the Aldi Social Standards in Production), our Bangladesh Minimum Requirements, Pakistan Minimum Requirements and the Accord requirements, each supplier must undergo an extensive evaluation prior to producing Aldi products, led by our International Sustainability department. Following initial approval of the supplier, our local Sustainability department, along with our supplier representatives, routinely visit factories to monitor compliance with our requirements and to support continuous improvement. Suppliers must also have qualified local representatives in Bangladesh and Pakistan to regularly monitor social performance.

Suppliers are required to closely monitor social compliance and meet other requirements including comprehensive fire protection systems, a valid building permit, and compliance with building regulations.