Aldi UK CEO Giles Hurley has vowed that the supermarket will only ever sell fresh chicken and beef from British farmers.
Aldi, which is the UK’s fifth-largest supermarket, said its fresh chicken and beef range was already 100% British and the company confirmed that would never change.
The commitment sits alongside Aldi’s existing policies to only sell British products across multiple categories, with 100% of its core range fresh meat, milk and eggs all coming from British farmers.
Hurley said: "Aldi is one of the biggest supporters of British suppliers and we want to make it clear that will always be the case. We are a signatory to the NFU Back British Farming Charter and our entire core range of fresh meat and milk is from Red Tractor-approved farms in the UK. We will never compromise on the standards or specifications of our products, and that includes a commitment to never selling chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef.
“Britain has some of the highest food quality standards in the world, and our commitment to only source chicken and beef from this country means our customers know they are always buying high-quality Aldi products at unbeatable value.”
The pledge came amid concerns that any potential trade deal with the US could allow imports of the controversial chlorinated chicken or hormone-treated beef. In May, the Government voted against an amendment to the UK’s Agriculture Bill that would have guaranteed high standards for food and drink entering the country post-Brexit.
The move caused concern with the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) urging the Government to keep its word on maintaining the UK’s high food standards. The result was that more than 1m people signed a petition, urging the Government to ensure future trade deals did not lead to an increase in imported foods that would be illegal to produce in the UK.
Aldi move welcomed
The Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW) welcomed Aldi’s announcement. SAMW executive manager Martin Morgan said: “Association members warmly welcome Aldi’s pledge to never sell chlorinated chicken or hormone-injected beef, as will consumers. We now urge all other retailers in the UK to take note and do likewise.”
The Aldi pledge also came as the Agriculture Bill returned to the House of Lords. Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) minister in the House, Lord Gardiner, will be leading several sittings of the whole House as part of the Bill’s Committee stage, expected to take place over the next two weeks.
Lord Gardiner of Kimble said: “The Agriculture Bill is just the beginning of our journey to deliver a once-in-a-generation transformation in the way that we farm our land and produce the food that we eat.
“We will put our farmers and land managers at the heart of that journey. This Bill will allow us to support them by rewarding protection and enhancement of the environment, while enabling their businesses to prosper by continuing to produce outstanding British food and drink to be enjoyed in the UK and abroad.”
Last week, the Government also announced it would establish a Trade and Agriculture Commission, with the aim of protecting UK farmers.