Aldi is increasing its commitment to sustainable retail practices by telling suppliers to treat chickens better.
The move applies to 5,339 Aldi stores in Europe but would serve as inspiration for other food retailers, including in the United States.
Following negotiations with The Humane League and its other coalition partners—including the Open Wing Alliance and Albert Schweitzer Foundation—Aldi has pledged to end the worst abuses suffered by tens of millions of chickens in their supply chains. The company will also work toward improving conditions for its locations in the US and elsewhere by continuing negotiations with The Humane League, an international nonprofit based in Philadelphia that advocates against animal abuse.
According to that group, “by 2026, a chicken raised for Aldi in one of these regions will be less likely to struggle to stand and walk, because they won't be bred to reach market weight at just five weeks old. They won't live their entire lives suffering in perpetual darkness. And they won't be violently flipped upside-down and electrocuted, then have their throats slashed while potentially still conscious.”
"Meaningful progress was made today for chickens. Aldi's commitment to higher welfare in more than 5,000 locations across Europe will improve the lives of tens of millions of chickens that currently suffer within its supply chain," said David Coman-Hidy, president of The Humane League. "Corporate pressure put on decision-makers by our global coalition of animal advocates has created monumental change for chickens, laying a strong groundwork for further progress in the US and around the world. Currently bred for a life of pure torture, chickens raised for meat deserve so much better. Through continued dialogue and negotiation, we'll push Aldi and other major retailers to adopt the Better Chicken Commitment in the US and markets worldwide."
This move comes about a month after Aldi received from the Environmental Protection Agency the 2020 Green Power Leadership Award and a 2019 GreenChill Store Certification, in addition to a Re-Certification Excellence Award for some of its stores.
With more than 2,000 stores across 36 states, Aldi U.S. is No. 26 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food retailers in North America. The retailer is on track to become the third-largest grocery retailer by store count by the end of 2022.