Supplier Complaints Handling and Dispute Resolution Guidelines

At ALDI relationships are very important to us. If you feel a complaint or dispute is unresolved directly with your contact, please use the Supplier Complaints Handling and Dispute Resolution Guidelines (Guidelines) below.

Overview
These Guidelines set out the process for ALDI Stores to investigate complaints and resolve disputes between the Supplier and ALDI Stores, including those relating to the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct (Code). These Guidelines are consistent with the rights and obligations of the Supplier and ALDI Stores under Part 5 of the Code which are binding on the parties.

The contact details for the Buying Directors (Buyers), Group Buying Directors (Senior Buyers) and the Code Arbiter referred to in these Guidelines can be found in the Product Contract with the Supplier for the relevant Product. ALDI Stores may also make available these contact details in another manner and update them as required.

If the Supplier wishes to raise a complaint or dispute relating to its dealings with ALDI Stores or a matter covered by the Code, including the ALDI Stores Terms and Conditions of Purchase (Terms), the Supplier has access to dispute resolution processes to seek to resolve the matter fairly as set out in these Guidelines and summarised below.

For more information on the Code, see:

Buyer
In order for the Supplier’s complaint or dispute to be dealt with as quickly as possible and in a collaborative manner, it is highly recommended that in the first instance the Supplier directs their complaint or dispute to the relevant Buyer. The Buyer will be glad to assist the Supplier with any complaints or disputes it may have.

Senior Buyer
The Supplier may at any stage raise or elevate a complaint or dispute to the relevant Senior Buyer if the Supplier is not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation by the Buyer.

Code Arbiter
If the Supplier is not satisfied with the outcome of an investigation by a Buyer or Senior Buyer, the Supplier may refer a complaint or dispute covered by the Code to the Code Arbiter.

Independent Reviewer
The Supplier may request an independent review of the Code Arbiter’s process if the Supplier has directed their original complaint or dispute relating to a matter covered by the Code to the Code Arbiter, and the Supplier is dissatisfied with the steps taken by the Code Arbiter.

Mediation or Arbitration
The Supplier may seek mediation or arbitration of a complaint or dispute relating to a matter covered by the Code. However, if the Supplier has taken a complaint or dispute to the Code Arbiter or Independent Reviewer, they may not seek mediation or arbitration unless the process has been completed or should have been completed.

Generally speaking, upon receipt of a complaint or dispute, the relevant ALDI Stores representative will take all reasonable steps to investigate and resolve the matter within 20 business days.

How to make a complaint or lodge a dispute
Complaints or disputes can be made to or lodged with the Buyer or Senior Buyer via phone or by using the online Supplier Complaint or Dispute Form on the ALDI Stores Supplier website, and by complying with any additional requirements referred to in these Guidelines.

Complaints or disputes relating to a matter covered by the Code to the Code Arbiter must be made by the Supplier using the online Supplier Complaint or Dispute Form on the ALDI Stores Supplier website which will be received directly by the Code Arbiter.

Information to be provided by the Supplier
Formal complaints or disputes, including those relating to a matter covered by the Code, must be in writing and contain the following:

  • The Supplier’s identification details, including business or trading name.
  • Contact details for the Supplier, or the person dealing with the complaint or dispute on behalf of a Supplier, including their name, title and telephone number.
  • Sufficient details of the conduct giving rise to the complaint or dispute, including any documents or information that would assist with the investigation of the complaint or dispute.
  • The action that the Supplier thinks will settle the complaint or dispute and the outcome the Supplier is seeking.
  • The provisions of the Code that are relevant to the complaint or dispute.

ALDI Stores is not required to comply with the requirements of the Code in relation to complaints or disputes unless sufficient particulars have been provided by the Supplier.

Investigation by the Buyer
Before proceeding with a formal complaint or dispute, it is highly recommended that in the first instance the Supplier directs their complaint or dispute to the relevant Buyer. If the Supplier is not happy with the outcome, they may escalate the complaint or dispute to the relevant Senior Buyer for resolution.

Investigation by the Code Arbiter
The Supplier may direct a complaint or dispute regarding a matter covered by the Code to the Code Arbiter. The Code Arbiter must not disclose to ALDI Stores the identity of the Supplier who has made the complaint or dispute, except with the express consent of the Supplier. The Code Arbiter must observe any confidentiality requirements relating to the information disclosed or obtained in dealing with or resolving a complaint or dispute.

The Code Arbiter will take all reasonable steps to investigate the complaint or dispute and conclude the investigation within 20 business days, or a longer period with the written agreement of the Supplier.

If after investigating the complaint or dispute, the Code Arbiter is satisfied that the complaint or dispute is vexatious, trivial, misconceived or lacking in substance, the Code Arbiter must give the Supplier written notice to that effect.

After investigating the complaint or dispute, the Code Arbiter must determine what (if any) action should be taken by ALDI Stores in response to the complaint or dispute.

Within 5 business days after conclusion of the investigation, the Code Arbiter will give the Supplier a notice in writing setting out:

  • The determination made by the Code Arbiter.
  • The reasons for making that determination.
  • If the Code Arbiter determines a proposed remedy – the timetable for the proposed remedy.
  • The Supplier may take action in relation to the matter by way of an independent review request or mediation or arbitration.

The Supplier may accept the proposed remedy by written notice given to the Code Arbiter at any time before the offer lapses. The offer will lapse 20 business days after the Code Arbiter has proposed the remedy. The Supplier can refer the complaint or dispute to the Independent Reviewer within 20 business days of having been made the offer.

Review by Independent Reviewer
The Independent Reviewer must consider the independent review request and decide within 10 business days of the request being received whether to conduct an independent review of the Code Arbiter’s process in dealing with the complaint or dispute. If the Independent Reviewer decides not to conduct the independent review, the Independent Reviewer must notify the Supplier and the Code Arbiter.

The Independent Reviewer has 20 days to complete the review. The Supplier and Code Arbiter will be notified of the Independent Reviewer’s recommendations within 5 business days of the review being completed. A copy of the notice will also be given to ALDI Stores.

Where the Independent Reviewer makes a recommendation to the Code Arbiter about the process undertaken, the Code Arbiter has 10 business days to consider whether to:

  • Adopt the Independent Reviewer’s recommendation and reconsider the proposed remedy, or
  • Not reconsider the complaint or dispute.

Having considered the Independent Reviewer’s recommendation, the Code Arbiter must notify the Supplier and Independent Reviewer of their decision by the conclusion of the 10 business days.

If the Code Arbiter reconsiders the case and decides to offer a new proposed remedy to the Supplier, the Supplier has 10 business days to accept or decline the new proposed remedy.

If the Code Arbiter does not reconsider the complaint or dispute, the Supplier has 10 business days to accept or decline the original proposed remedy.

The Independent Reviewer may notify the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of a potential breach of the Code. If so, to ensure procedural fairness, the Independent Reviewer would also be required to notify ALDI Stores.

External Mediation or Arbitration
The Supplier is encouraged to attempt to resolve a complaint or dispute with ALDI Stores or the Code Arbiter prior to seeking mediation or arbitration.

The Supplier may seek external mediation or arbitration of a complaint or dispute relating to a matter covered by the Code. However, if the Supplier has raised a complaint or dispute with the Code Arbiter or Independent Reviewer, they may not seek mediation or arbitration unless the process has been completed or should have been completed.

The mediation or arbitration will be conducted in English and in accordance with the rules of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators (IAMA). Preference for the venue location is Sydney.

General
When making and seeking to resolve complaints or disputes in accordance with these Guidelines, ALDI Stores and the Suppliers must act lawfully and in good faith at all times.

Supplier Complaint or Dispute Form