This decision will affect the lives of millions of chickens: As the first food retailer in Germany, Aldi commits to meet the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment (ECC). After discussions with the Albert Schweitzer Foundation in cooperation with Animal Equality, The Humane League, and the Open Wing Alliance, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd are going to introduce higher animal welfare standards for chickens in the meat industry. The discounters are thereby consolidating their role as animal welfare pioneers in food retail as they once did in the phasing out of caged eggs.
The criteria of the European Chicken Commitment aim at limiting overbreeding, reducing stocking density, making stables more animal-friendly and the stunning of chickens less stressful. The Albert Schweitzer Foundation and its partner organizations are working to make the criteria of the ECC the minimum standard globally. Aldi’s commitment brings this goal a great deal closer. After all, the food retail trade plays a key role as a major buyer of chicken meat.
Food Retail Can Achieve New Standards in Animal Welfare
» We are pleased to accompany Aldi in this important step towards more animal welfare and congratulate the responsible persons on the decision « , says Mahi Klosterhalfen, president of Albert Schweitzer Foundation. » Since we already received positive signals from other food retailers, we count on the fact that soon further companies will follow. Together the retailers can move the yardstick on animal welfare. So far about 350 companies have joined the European Chicken Commitment in Europe and its equivalent in North America. Aldi is one of the largest and most important of them. «
Tobias Heinbockel, Managing Director Category Management at Aldi Nord, says: » The European Chicken Commitment places high demands on husbandry conditions, which we are happy to support in the interests of animal welfare. We will now work together with all actors along the supply chain to implement the strict requirements of the European Chicken Commitment. «
Aldi Is Sending a Clear Signal to the Market
Erik Döbele, Managing Director Corporate Buying at Aldi South, responsible for Quality Control & Corporate Responsibility, adds: » With our pledge to the European Chicken Commitment we are sending a clear signal to the market. We look forward to other market participants from the retail and catering sectors to following our example in order to achieve better animal welfare across the board. Only if everyone gets involved can we succeed in this task. «
Aldi will work with its partners and suppliers to implement the standards of the European Chicken Commitment and take the necessary steps to achieve them. Initially, the focus will be on the complete conversion of the whole fresh meat assortment as well as frozen natural chicken products. In order to raise animal welfare standards across the board, it is essential that other market participants also join the European Chicken Commitment and that the requirements are in line with future political decisions. You can find Aldi’s complete statement here (in German).
About the European Chicken Commitment (ECC)
The European Chicken Commitment aims to establish higher minimum standards in the husbandry of chickens raised for meat. 350+ companies, including Unilever, Nestlé, KFC, and Ikea, have already pledged to fulfill the requirements. The so-called broiler chickens suffer particularly from overbreeding, agonizing confinement and boredom in the sheds. In addition, stunning before slaughter is often stressful and inadequate. The legal requirements do not offer the animals sufficient protection. More about the European Chicken Commitment.
About the Open Wing Alliance (OWA)
Initiated by The Humane League, the Open Wing Alliance (OWA) brings together over 80 member organizations who are changing the way the world’s biggest companies treat animals and setting a new standard for corporate animal welfare policies locally—in every major market—and globally. In addition to launching coordinated global campaigns, we share campaign strategies, tactics, and resources around the world as a unified front to end the abuse of chickens worldwide.