Latest news about ethical consumerism


Lidl supplier caught in BBC sting

Sep 23

Written by:
23/09/2013 13:19  RssIcon

Undercover reporter finds forced labour and falsified documents


An undercover investigation by the BBC's Panorama program has revealed that a factory supplying clothes to supermarket chain Lidl was using forced labour.

According to a report on the BBC website, workers were locked into the factory for the final hours of a 19 hour shift.

The Ha Meem Sportswear manufacturer was found to be carrying out the practice after a BBC journalist Richard Bilton camped outside the factory. He filmed security guards locking workers inside the factory, which had suffered a fire just weeks earlier, trapping them inside.

The journalist later interviewed a worker who said that this happened regularly.

He told the BBC: "My feelings are bad and my health is too. In the last two weeks, approximately, it has been like this for eight nights." He earned just £2 for the shift.

Bilton then posed as a Western buyer and asked the factory management about their overtime and working hours policies. He was shown false time sheets and given misleading information.

Kalpona Akter, from the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, told the BBC that,

"The factory owners, they keep two different books. So one they show to the buyers, the other they show to the worker. These retailers' so-called audits really don't work."

Bilton comments that “Codes of conduct demanded by Western retailers to improve conditions are worthless if double books mean there's no way of monitoring worker hours.”

Lidl said our findings were "concerning" and showed how important it was to improve conditions in Bangladesh.



This story has been added to our corporate database. The database powers all our live product guides, giving the score for each company on our rankings tables. Find out more about how we rate companies.


Read more about supermarkets and their supply chains in our special report on the food industry - Food, Justice and Corporate Power.


Register on the site to receive our free monthly email newsletter and keep up-to-date with all our research and campaigning.






Full News Archive


Ethical news archive going back to July 2009.

Read More

Ethical Consumer Blog

Victory for UNIQLO garment workers

  • 13/01/2017 13:34

Fashion retailer announces it will make its supply chain public

Ethical Consumer Blog

New Rating Categories at Ethical Consumer

  • 11/01/2017 17:56

Palm oil and controversial technologies in the spotlight

Ethical Consumer Blog

#FightFastFashion campaign

  • 09/01/2017 09:46

This year ditch the high street and help us in the fight against fast fashion

Ethical Consumer Blog

Hopes for 2017

  • 06/01/2017 13:42

The team at Ethical Consumer share their hopes for the new year

Ethical Consumer Blog

Value of UK Ethical Market Grows to Double that of Tobacco

  • 05/01/2017 10:52

Latest Ethical Consumer markets report shows steady growth