Aldi Belgium is introducing stricter rules for suppliers on the use of water when growing fruit and vegetables.
The discounter wants to use water more efficiently around the world, and the move makes the group the first discounter to introduce these requirements on growers.
Aldi Belgium relies on local fruit and vegetables, and sourced around 80% of the vegetables in the 2020 Belgian fruit and vegetable season from local suppliers.
However, not all fruit and vegetables are always available in Belgium, forcing the discounter to obtain certain products from other countries.
Around 70% of the world's fresh water consumption can be traced back to growing fruit and vegetables, the retailer added.
From now on, Aldi Nord, Aldi Süd, and Hofer will require their largest foreign fruit and vegetable growers to use water more efficiently, especially in regions where water is scarce.
Stefaan De Schepper, manager of corporate responsibility at Aldi Belgium, said, "By July 2022, the growers of our 15 best-selling fruit and vegetable varieties from water-risk areas must ensure more efficient water use."
The 15 best-selling fruit and vegetables include avocados from Peru, grapes, and bananas, often sourced from water risk areas.
Together with its producers, Aldi will define the criteria for water use that must be met during the cultivation of fruit and vegetables.
The retailer will also support producers throughout the process, from monitoring water consumption to optimising irrigation plans.
"Thanks to these technologies, more than 70% of fruit and vegetable sales will come from water-saving products in the future," De Schepper added.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.