Animal welfare is one issue that is truly near and dear to the hearts of many consumers in Germany. The survey for our Sustainability Report revealed that animal welfare is a major concern for our customers. With the help of a dedicated team, we here at ALDI North are working on making effective progress, step by step.
In Germany, the Corporate Responsibility (CR) department of ALDI Buying is tackling various issues related to animal welfare. It is a demanding job, because almost no other sustainability aspect is debated with as much emotion as this one is. The challenges are complex, and the tasks are manifold. No two days are alike: holding talks with suppliers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and associations, attending meetings for initiatives and working groups, and – last, but not least – detailed coordination and collaboration with the other departments and divisions at ALDI Buying, as many other colleagues are also trying to make continued progress with animal welfare. This is the case, for example, in Buying, which relays our jointly developed requirements to suppliers, or in Marketing and Communications, which answers enquiries from the media and customers and comes up with ideas to inform our customers of improved animal welfare standards for our products. Quality Assurance also assists us by lending its expertise whenever we need it. Finally, we maintain regular contact with colleagues in other countries to share experience and learn from each other.
“We have already achieved a great deal. Our Animal Welfare Purchasing Policy is one of the most extensive there is in the German market, according to the Albert Schweitzer Stiftung für unsere Mitwelt. Our customers can also see what kind of progress we are making right on the products themselves thanks to our new Fair & Gut own brand for animal welfare and the German Animal Welfare Federation’s label, for example.”
Dr. Christina Fries-Henrich, Head of Corporate Responsibility, ALDI Buying
In early 2018, we launched the new own brand called Fair & Gut. Selected fresh meat products using improved animal husbandry practices are sold under this brand. The own brand combines various animal welfare labels and their standards that go above and beyond the legal husbandry requirements. Fair & Gut stands for
We have initially rolled out six poultry products under the new own brand. They meet the criteria for the entry standard of the German Animal Welfare Federation’s “Für Mehr Tierschutz” label. Among other things, this means more room, straw bales and pecking blocks in the barn, access to a covered area in winter and GMO-free feed. Compliance with the specifications is checked by independent outside certification bodies that perform regular inspections. Step by step, we will be adding more products to our range under this label.
Our animal welfare efforts also extend to our cosmetic products. Since late 2017, we have begun marking our vegan cosmetic and body care products with The Vegan Society’s vegan flower label. The first item to receive the label is the Biocura liquid soap in the refill bag
We have been members of the Leather Working Group (LWG)* since 2015. Among other things, the LWG has set itself the goal of making the conditions in tanneries and at intermediaries more transparent and sustainable. In order to further improve the traceability of leather, 2016 saw the entry into an LWG working group – the Animal Welfare Subgroup (AWG). Its goal is to educate the supply chain on the salient aspects of animal welfare issues.
In September 2017, the Meierkamp brand’s “Frische Alpenmilch” (fresh Alpine milk) was launched at select stores in Germany. The milk is certified under the entry standard of the German Animal Welfare Federation’s label. The rollout is a pilot project that we are carrying out together with the supplier and the German Animal Welfare Federation. The milk comes from farms in the Alpine foothills and the Allgäu which fulfil our tough quality and animal welfare criteria. Just three months later and the sale of the certified milk was expanded to include all German stores. In more than half of our stores, we also carry Meierkamp’s “Weidemilch” (meadow-grazed milk). It has featured the animal welfare label under the premium standard since 2018.
“Hen & rooster!” is the name of a pilot project for rearing male chicks – or rooster brothers – in the egg-producing industry. We have been carrying out the project together with a supplier since August 2017. Normally, the roosters that hatch at an egg farm are not raised, as they do not put on as much meat as hens. However, the eggs from “Hen & rooster!” come from laying hens kept in barns, whose “brothers” are also raised. By purchasing “Hen & rooster” eggs, our customers are helping support our commitment to greater animal welfare in the egg-producing industry. The eggs from our pilot project are available at two regional companies in Germany and are easy to identify thanks to their eye-catching packaging
Once a year, we update our German Animal Welfare Purchasing Policy, which contains all of our requirements. In the process, we regularly add new measures and goals. We set new goals in 2017 as well, including the following:
In 2017, we also held training once again for buyers on the issue of animal welfare.
We have compiled an extensive negative list in recent years, which bans the sale of products that are not consistent with our animal welfare standards. The following items were added to the list in 2017:
ALDI North Germany took third place in the vegan ranking of supermarkets conducted by the Albert Schweitzer Stiftung für unsere Mitwelt. This ranking is due in particular to our expanded range of vegan products and the “Mein Veggie Tag” own brand.
*Leather Working Group
The objective of the Leather Working Group is to develop and maintain protocols that assess the environmental compliance and performance capabilities of leather manufacturers and promote sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry. The group seeks to improve the leather manufacturing industry by creating alignment on environmental priorities, bringing visibility to best practices and providing suggested guidelines for continual improvement in areas including energy and water consumption, chemical management and traceability.
People from 117 nations work in the nine European countries in which we are represented. This diversity is a part of the ALDI North Group. It enriches our working relationships and reflects the diversity of our customers.
We align our actions with our core values: simplicity, responsibility and reliability. These values also express the way the ALDI North Group sees and approaches compliance.
We take responsibility for safe and fair working conditions and compliance with environmental standards wherever we can make a difference
Being an ALDI employee above all means embracing our shared values: simplicity, responsibility and reliability. That is what we stand for in all we do, wherever we are located.
The trust of our customers is our most valuable asset. That is why we listen carefully to what they want. For more than 100 years, we have consistently and systematically tailored our products and services towards the demands of our customers.
Taking responsibility for the health and safety of employees in the workplace is part of the ethos of the ALDI North Group companies
We know that there is still a lot to do when it comes to animal welfare, but we are on the right track, as confirmed by two recent publications on commitment to animal welfare in the food industry
The roughly 69,000 ALDI employees make a decisive contribution to the sustained success of the ALDI North Group. All of them can be proud to work for the ALDI North Group. In exchange, they receive secure working conditions, attractive framework conditions and long-term career development prospects
We take responsibility for the protection of our environment and its natural resources. As a retailer, reducing waste and dedicating ourselves to fighting food losses play a central role.