Supermarkets are stealing – and we striked back.
The Big Four of German discount stores Lidl, Edeka, Aldi and Rewe steal from their producers on a daily basis by preventing unions, paying pittances and promoting violations of human rights. As long as the legal situation does not change, it will stay that way. This is why for one motnh we reversed the exploitation. We were deliberately snatching products and donating money to where it belongs: to unions in the global south.Play Video
We love bananas! In Europe and North America it is the most consumed fruit. Thus it would be a livelihood for people in cultivating countries like Ecuador - if the wages were fair.1,29€/kg
Tea has a thousands of years old tradition and a centuries-old history of exploitation, which dates back to the colonial era and gives us today the pleasure of a cheap, golden-brown cup.0,79€
Roses are a symbol of love. In Kenya they are also a symbol for lack of water and contaminated soil damaged from pesticides and sewage water.1,99€
More than 9kg of chocolate are eaten by the average German per year. The people who grow the cocoa live in absolute poverty, millions of children have to work on the farms.0,69€
Whether fresh or as an alcoholic beverage: the wine from South Africa comes in every form of equally disastrous growing conditions.5,99€
The average German eats 25 kg per year, the country of origin is mostly Italy. But the human rights situation on European plantations is no better than that on other continents.1,19€
The Germans love coffee, that is why they are second of the world market's importing countries. Does that mean the living situation of the coffee farmers is good? Unfortunately not.3,99€
The most popular fruit juice of the Germans consists of exploitation to a great extent: starvation wages, discrimination, extreme use of pesticides, prevention of trade unions.0,99€
Deutschland geht Klauen
Discounters steal human rights. We steal back - and pay the right ones. The money we do not give to the supermarkets goes to organizations who work for the respect of labor and human rights in the producing countries.
How To Snatch
Are you the athletic type running as fast as you can? Or are you trying to be as inconspicuous as possible? Maybe you make your own equipment for snatching? We introduce you to different options to steal as effectively as possible.
Snatching (Is Sabotage)
The Raccoons' music clip for Snatching (Is Sabotage) was shot in four supermarket outlets with the kind support of Kaufland, Rewe, Lidl and Netto. Here you can download the song as mp3.
Why is Germany snatching?
Germany is snatching. Discounters are leading a price competition for the cheapest food and to do so they steal the dignity of the people who produce the goods. They have them produce under inhumane working conditions and have people suffer because of us. So that we as concumers can do our groceries conveniently.
Germany is snatching. The most important accomplice of Rewe, Aldi, Edeka and Lidl is the German government. It refuses to enact laws to protect the human rights of the producers and hold discounters accountable.
Germany is snatching. We too are accomplices. Because every time we buy the products of the discounters, we also become guilty as consumers. We are innocently guilty because we do not have a choice. We can go for the fair trade solution with a few products. But that shows us above all that the vast majority of our consumer goods, in the words of the UN, are based on modern slavery.
That's why we were snatching the right way. For the rights of the people who produce our food. The money that we save will be given to unions and organizations that work for the rights of producers.
Because what the government is doing here is not enough. The National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights relies on self-commitment by companies and remains to be non-binding. While the plan identifies the responsibility of the companies, it does not oblige them to improve production conditions. Accordingly, everything is fine if only half of all the companies do not respect human rights and the other half can report a few steps they take to improve the situation - or explain why they do not comply. Great.
Therefore, we trample all over the constitutional state until it does its job. We have to be able to sue companies in Germany if they offer us products for which other people pay with their basic human rights. A corresponding bill already exists. But there is no willingness to implement it. This is also a chance to fight the causes of flight in those causes' country of origin, in Germany.
That is why Germany is snatching.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is behind this action?
Supermarket snatch is a campaign by Peng! Collektive, an art and activism group that promotes civil disobedience with unconventional campaign tactics and shifts the public discourse in favor of civil society. Legally responsible is the Reverse Exploitation GbR.
Why were you doing this campaign?
Our goal is a legal regulation for human rights due diligence in Germany. So long as there is no such thing, human rights keep being are negotiated in supply chains and supermarkets every day. But human rights are by definition not negotiable!
Why did you stop accepting payments?
Acquiring money from donations has never been the primary goal of our campaign, that was just a symbolic act. Money is not a sustainable solution in development cooperation. It was more important to us to put pressure on the German government, so they implement a legal basis for an obligation for executive care.
Does the government not take care of that?
No. It might look like it, but in fact it is not. The recently promoted "National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights" only includes a voluntary commitment - and explicitly no legal liability for companies. The government simulates responsibility and avoids positively effective measures.
What and where was I supposed to snatch?
Our campaign is aimed exclusively at the big German supermarket chains Lidl, Edeka, Aldi and Rewe. You were not supposed to steal from the corner shop! In most cases, our presented products refer to the most cheap own brand of each supermarket. But even brand products often contain a lot of exploitation.
Can't I just buy Fair Trade?
Fair Trade is a good approach, but it does not solve the problem. For mixed products, such as chocolate or orange juice, 20% of fair trade ingredients are enough to receive the seal. The rest can be produced under the same exploitative conditions. Instead of shifting the responsibility to the consumers we therefore need a legal regulation.
What is the penalty on shoplifting?
Shoplifting remains a criminal offense even when it part of a political campaign and is punishable according to German law, § 242 StGB with imprisonment up to five years or a fine, depending on the value of the shoplifted goods. In the case of a minor offense with a value of less than 30€ a smaller fine is to be expected. This is not a legal advice.
Who gets the money?
We send the money to workers unions and NGOs that promote workers and humans rights in their respective countries. Most of those organizations cooperate with us. They are behind this campaign and are happy to give information on their working conditions. In some cases the money goes to NGOs that we cannot name here, in order to protect them. But we can guarantee: the collected money goes where it belongs.
Did you you check if I really shoplifted?
No. We cannot know who shoplifts and who doesn't. It is impossible to say if the money that we received was a payment for stolen goods or a donation to the organization.