After the Open Wing Alliance (OWA) had won over Aldi to join the European Chicken Commitment in Germany, Aldi has now followed suit in Spain. In both countries, Aldi is the first food retailer to take this step, thereby raising animal welfare standards for millions of broiler chickens.
Aldi committing in France, Germany and Spain
The success in Spain was brought about by the animal protection organization Igualdad Animal (Animal Equality Spain), on behalf of the OWA. As in Germany and also France, Aldi commits itself to working with its suppliers to reduce overbreeding and to implement higher welfare standards for chickens by 2026.
In France, the company had already agreed to meet the criteria of the commitment in August after the animal protection organization L214 launched a campaign against its competitor Lidl. Since then, both companies have joined the European Chicken Commitment. Aldi has also taken a first important step in Denmark, where the company is now switching to slower growing breeding lines.
Other countries and companies still in the focus
In other European countries and the USA, the local OWA organizations are in contact with Aldi’s respective national managements. In Germany, the Albert Schweitzer Foundation is in talks with Aldi’s competitors in order to also win over Lidl & Co. for the European Chicken Commitment.
Mahi Klosterhalfen, CEO and president of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation, says: »We’re expecting further companies to follow suit soon. As a whole, the industry can set new standards in animal welfare. So far, more than 370 companies in Europe and North America have joined the Chicken Commitment. Aldi is one of the largest and most important ones among them.«
Thus, Aldi’s commitment is a door opener: some years ago Aldi’s example already led to all German supermarkets phasing out caged eggs. At the same time, numerous companies from other industries that have joined the commitment are prove that the criteria can be implemented.
The European Chicken Commitment in the food retail trade
Our overview shows which food retailers in Europe have committed:
France: As of this year, all nine major supermarket chains, including Lidl, have joined the commitment. All of them also commit themselves to 20 % of the chickens coming from free range farming or husbandry forms with access to winter gardens. Together they make up 99.3 % of the French food retail market. Since some smaller companies are also on board, almost the entire industry will implement at least the criteria of the Chicken Commitment.
United Kingdom: Waitrose joined the commitment in March 2019. Currently there is a campaign going on against the largest supermarket chain, Tesco. In 2017, the British chain Marks & Spencer agreed to implement the criteria of the European Chicken Commitment in the whole of Europe.
Norway: Rema 1000, a Norwegian discounter, has joined the commitment and already implemented the criteria almost completely. The company aims to have finished the conversion by 2021.
Denmark: 7-Eleven announced in 2020 that it will implement the animal welfare standards of the European Chicken Commitment by 2022.
Poland: The online supermarket Frisco.pl joined in 2019.
Germany: As of this year, Aldi is the first German food retailer to have joined the commitment.
Spain: Aldi is now also the first supermarket chain in Spain to have committed.