Ahold Delhaize human Rights

Ahold Delhaize has announced the publication of its inaugural Human Rights Report, described by the retailer as an important milestone to show what steps the group and its local brands are taking to safeguard human rights, both within the organisation and across the supply chain, as well as increase transparency on the highest priority human rights issues.

The report is based on the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and is the result of a global human rights due diligence process that began in 2018.

According to the retailer, the due diligence process was designed to increase engagement on human rights - both internally and externally - and to assess current human rights management policies, processes and governance.

The Human Rights Report outlines the outcome of this due diligence and provides a roadmap for future actions.

In consultation with internal and external stakeholders, Ahold Delhaize identified six salient human rights issues that it will focus on as initial priorities, followed by six additional relevant issues.

Furthermore, the group is strengthening its governance to ensure human rights are fully embedded within its strategy and to support the brands as they ensure that the protection of human rights is an integral part of their business activities. Additionally, these issues will be assessed to understand how they are impacting local markets and where action can be taken when needed.

“2020 is an historic year of unprecedented events arising from the Covid-19 outbreak and the worldwide protests in support of racial justice and equality,' said chief executive officer Frans Muller. 'These events once again make us realise that, as a global retailer, we play a pivotal role in society.

'We have a big responsibility to set the right example and help dismantle structures that systematically disadvantage some and advantage others,” he continued. “To this end, I am pleased to see we are making progress in our human rights policies, but we’re not there yet and more work must be done.

'Our commitment to respect human rights and address the many challenges related to that commitment cannot be fulfilled alone,' Muller concluded. 'It requires collaboration and partnership both across the food chain and in our communities.”