FINNISH NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATION (NGO) Finnwatch is stepping up its campaign to persuade German-based supermarket chain LiDL to reveal the details of its supply chain. The other main grocery companies, the government and NGOs last year signed a memorandum promising to follow United Nations guidelines but LiDL pulled out. The company cited its international policy and the need for competitiveness as reasons for maintaining secrecy. But Finnwatch executive director Sonja Vartiala, writing in the Finnish Metalworkers’ union journal, insists ‘We do not know how LiDL’s buying policy affects the daily life of workers in developing countries, but we will find out soon enough’. Finnwatch, which has a number of trade unions as members, has made several reports on how companies doing business in Finland are operating in developing countries. Ms. Vartiala acknowledges that some complaints about the campaign had been received on the basis that LiDL was challenging the bigger local supermarket companies and was good for consumers. However, her article informed readers that, worldwide, LiDL is one of the biggest retail grocery groups with a turnover seven times larger than the biggest private Finnish firm, K-Group. A petition, including images of LiDL shops uploaded by Finnish citizens, will be presented to the company; ‘We want to send a message to the head office of LiDL that this kind of secrecy does not go down well in Finland’ says Vartiala.
The photo upload page for Transparent LiDL