Last updated: December 2014
Trying to shop ethically at Aldi and Lidl
Questions have been asked about whether it is possible to shop ethically at Aldi and Lidl, so one wet day in Portsmouth, Ethical Consumer set off with a shopping list to find out what she could buy.
Fairtrade items such as tea, coffee, sugar, chocolate, and bananas were available in both stores. However, just as it is across their whole product range, the choice was limited. Milk chocolate was available but not dark, and the coffee was only available as instant, not fresh.
Lidl also sold Fairtrade white and red wine. Despite new winter clothing ranges, there appeared to be no items which used Fairtrade cotton.
Both had a wide selection of vegetables, with a lot of apparent sourcing from UK farms. Neither had a good selection of certified organic vegetables: the Aldi store I visited stocked none while Lidl only had carrots and onions.
When it came to meat, both supermarkets promoted their British selection of pork, beef and chicken. Freerange chickens and eggs were available at both stores, but not organic.
Both sold fresh fish certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), but again the choice was limited: only salmon or cod. A few frozen fish items were certified by the MSC in both supermarkets. Lidl’s Deluxe frozen fish range seemed to consist of mostly non-certified items. Pole and line caught tinned tuna was available in both supermarkets.
Aldi has a policy not to allow own-brand toiletries or household products to be tested on animals, so it was disappointing not to see any of its products certified by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) or a statement on its packaging stating this policy. It would seem it was not possible to buy cruelty-free toiletries or household items from Lidl.
And finally Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifiedloo roll was available in both stores with the Mixed Sources label.
Stores visited: Aldi North End and Lidl Hilsea, 10th November 2014