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Germany: Meat revolution at Aldi

Updated: Feb 14, 2023

Discount Retail Chain Aldi Germany (German family owned) is taking the next step for animal welfare and changing its meat range!

Aldi wants to completely dispense with meat from closed stables in the future. According to the Innovations in fresh meat chilled sausage and meat products are now also to follow.

By 2030, these goods should only come from stables with an outdoor climate. The open buildings ensure that the animals can stand in the fresh air, get daylight and are still protected from the weather.

On each meat package there is an information box on how the animals were kept. 1 meets the minimum standards of factory farming, 4 means outdoor climate stables with toys and additional exercise

Almost half of the annual meat consumption is accounted for by meat and sausage products, Aldi explained. Customers can see how the animals are kept by the husbandry box on the meat packaging.

In the future, there will only be the highest levels on the scale of 1 to 4. From level 3, the animals are in the outdoor climate barn, instead of indoors. At level 4, they also get even better food, toys and are allowed to run all year round.

According to the discounter, a step-by-step plan is planned:

► Accordingly, goods from farming form one are to be completely dispensed with by 2025. Husbandry form one means: "stable keeping". This only corresponds to the legal minimum standards in animal husbandry.

► By 2026, one third of meat and sausage products should come from husbandry forms three and four.

► By 2030, the company is to switch completely to goods from the two higher farming methods.

Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (57, Grünen) welcomed the step "explicitly". The market is changing, meat consumption is constantly declining and at the same time consumers want better animal husbandry. "Responding to this is a market economy," the minister said.

The food retail trade is also sending an important signal to the farms "that the demand for products from more animal-friendly husbandry is increasing and money can be earned with it," Özdemir continued. All this gives the farmers a "reliable planning perspective".

Meanwhile, the consumer protection association Foodwatch criticized that even with the forms of husbandry three and four, the "misery of the animals" does not change.

"Millions of farm animals suffer massively from disease, injury and pain," the organization said. The form of husbandry, such as whether the animals are kept on an organic farm or conventionally, "hardly plays a role". A little more space and exercise did not protect against "pneumonia, abscesses and cannibalism". Only "complete laws for more animal health" would help.

In the case of fresh meat, the gradual conversion to the higher farming methods at Aldi should also be completed by 2030.

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