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Published on Friday, 30 April 2010

CCC: complaint against Lidl's consumer deception successful

Written by Stacey Dove

Clean Clothes Campaign reports that consumer and worker rights organisations are celebrating a historic victory after the giant German retailer Lidl agreed to withdraw public claims that its goods were being produced under fair and decent working conditions.

The agreement was reached following a legal challenge, launched by the Consumer Agency Hamburg, which accused Lidl of engaging in false advertising.

The legal challenge was supported by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), who provided research which proved that Bangladesh workers were producing clothing for Lidl in conditions described by workers as “inhumane”.

On April 14th, the retailer, which had previously refused to withdraw the claims, proposed an out of court settlement. The settlement committed them to a cease and desist agreement on claims of global fair working conditions in its advertisements. As part of this, Lidl is no longer allowed to refer to their membership of the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) in their advertising brochures.

The row broke out over a section of Lidl's company promotion, which claimed that “Lidl globally advocates fair working conditions. …..  we contract our non-food orders only to selected suppliers and producers that are willing to undertake and can demonstrate their social responsibility. We categorically oppose every form of child labor, as well as human and labor rights violations in our production facilities. We effectively ensure these standards.”