Joining forces for more animal welfare: Retail companies of the Schwarz Group endorse national animal welfare label
At International Green Week (IGW), which was organized recently in Berlin with a focus on the long-term development of the agriculture sector and animal welfare, the retail companies of the Schwarz Group actively participated in the discussions.
For many years, Lidl and Kaufland have been advocating for better animal welfare and environmental protection, in addition to a transparent welfare label. The two retail divisions of the Schwarz Group are among the founding members of the ITW animal welfare initiative. In addition, Lidl developed the welfare compass in 2018, thus laying the foundation for the current animal welfare label used in the food retail sector. Lidl and Kaufland use this label for meat, sausage, frozen products, and most recently milk in order to give their customers the option to opt for more animal welfare. Both retail companies are gradually expanding the label to other product areas.
Lidl and Kaufland share the same objective as the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Cem Özdemir: promoting more animal welfare in the livestock farming. A comprehensive and mandatory national animal welfare label represents an essential cornerstone for highlighting issues related to the treatment of the animals behind the animal products bought and consumed by customers. It is only possible to raise awareness among the population to promote responsible consumption and improve animal welfare on a broad basis if such a label is used across the nation. If the welfare conditions are easy to read on all products in addition to the origin, consumers can make a conscious decision in favor of better animal welfare. For the majority of the food retail sector, this transparency is already an accepted standard. Therefore, the fact that Federal Minister Cem Özdemir would like to make the label mandatory as quickly as possible everywhere animal products are sold is a welcome development. This includes restaurants, fast food restaurants, canteens, cafeterias, daycare centers, schools, stadiums, hospitals, and hotels.
Furthermore, for Lidl and Kaufland it is essential for the planned animal welfare label to be expanded promptly to processed products and the entire rearing stage, as well as to other animals as a next step. It is also important to link the legal regulation to a mandatory indication of origin in order to strengthen the domestic agriculture sector, while at the same time clearly acknowledging and rewarding the services of the farmers in places of consumption outside the home. In addition, the two retail divisions are calling for additional adjustments to the legislation: for example, concerning issues related to modifying structures used to house livestock.
Only together is it possible to improve animal welfare in livestock farming. Therefore, we continue to support a common platform for dialogue between representatives from the food retail sector, processors, the restaurant and catering industry, politicians, and the agriculture sector in order to develop sustainable and practicable solutions hand in hand.