Aldi: “Different” but not in a “Good” way
Aldi is Australia’s third largest supermarket chain and growing. But it’s the odd one out in terms of its animal welfare policy. Good? No. Different? Yes, unfortunately.
Aldi is the clear straggler among Australian supermarkets when it comes to providing its customers with information on the welfare standards for animals used in their home-brand products, such as Berg, Ironbark Pork and Brannan’s Butchery.
Tell Aldi that Australian animals deserve better and consumers have the right to know how animals farmed for their food are treated.
Australian consumers expect their supermarkets to ensure animals are raised right.
Coles and Woolworths – and even Aldi UK – provide extensive information about their animal welfare policies along with specific public commitments to improve animal welfare. This helps to drive the farm industry to improve practices. After all, supermarkets have the buying power to transform the lives of millions of farm animals in Australia.
In contrast, Aldi Australia has a single page on “animal welfare” which says fresh meat must meet “Aldi’s standards”, yet there’s no information on what these standards are.
The page goes on to boast Aldi’s membership of a certification scheme that sets standards for humane transport and slaughter, without making it clear this DOES NOT cover animal welfare on farms.
Aldi needs to state clear commitments and animal welfare objectives with a timeline for improvement. For example, a commitment to confinement free pork means consumers know pigs weren’t kept in cramped, barren cages.
Where does Aldi stand on pigs?
In particular, Aldi needs to provide more information about how the producers they source from treat pigs. Consumption of pork is growing both in Australian and overseas, yet conditions for these intelligent, social animals means they are still suffering.
Around the world, mother pigs are often forced to live alone in small cages – ‘sow stalls’ - no bigger than a fridge for most of their lives. The cages are so cramped they can’t even turn around. They suffer more infections and intense stress leading to them biting the bars that confine them, causing injury and making them depressed.
Pigs don’t belong in cages. They deserve to be kept in groups with materials to nest and play with, allowing them to express natural behaviour. Coles have committed to going sow-stall free for all their home-brand products and Woolworths home brand fresh pork meets the industry standard of sow-stall free.
Ask Aldi to match these commitments and stop keeping mother pigs in cages as a first step in developing a comprehensive animal welfare policy.
It’s the right thing to do
Increasingly, Australian consumers want to know how animals were raised. They want to know that the animals were treated humanely and that they had a life worth living.
ALL of Australia’s major supermarkets need to show leadership on farm animal welfare. It’s time for Aldi - Australia’s third largest supermarket chain - to take animal welfare seriously.
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