In January 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Aldi website and for information about the company's approach to animal testing. The company's UK website stated, "We are proud to announce that from 1 January, 2018, our entire own-label household and beauty range has been accredited as cruelty free certified by leading animal protection organisation, Cruelty Free International."

Aldi provided more information about its animal testing policy in a questionnaire it completed for Ethical Consumer in March 2019. It stated:

"1. Cosmetics and Toiletries: All of our own brand cosmetics and toiletries are free from animal testing, and are certified by Cruelty Free International with a fixed cut-off date of 11 March 2013.
2. Household Products: All of our own brand household products are free from animal testing, and are certified by Cruelty Free International with a fixed cut-off date of 01 January 2015."

While the UK part of Aldi had a clear policy not to use animal tested ingredients this did not appear to apply to its global operations, for example Aldi's US Animal Welfare Policy (dated 07/2019) stated, "Animal testing is prohibited for finished health and beauty products, detergents, and cleaners." This suggested that ingredients tested on animals were acceptable.

As a result the company received Ethical Consumer's worst rating for Animal Testing and lost a whole mark under this category.

Reference:

www.aldi.co.uk/ (8 January 2020)

In January 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Aldi website and found that the company sold meat products not labelled as free range or organic. In March 2019 the company sent Ethical Consumer a completed questionnaire which stated that it aimed to move all its whole eggs to cage free sources by 2025. It also stated that, "All own label Specially Selected fresh primary core, seasonal & specialbuy eggs, poultry & pork must be assured under the RSPCA Assured standards or certified organic. We are the second largest retailer of RSPCA Assured products...All of our liquid milk, cream and cheddar cheese in the UK is British-sourced and either assured to Red Tractor or Organic standards for grazing."

A previous questionnaire that the company completed in 2018 also stated that "In the UK, all our everyday fresh meat is certified by Red Tractor to meet UK standards of animal welfare".

Due to the fact that Aldi was selling meat and dairy that were not labelled organic or free-range it lost a whole mark under Animal Rights and a whole mark under Factory Farming.

Reference:

www.aldi.co.uk/ (8 January 2020)

In January 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Aldi's website and found the company sold own-brand honey. The website and the company's CSR website were searched for a policy on bee welfare. No information could be found.
Due to bee welfare issues associated with honey production such as bee mutilation and the killing of drones, colonies or brood to ensure maximum honey yield, Ethical Consumer felt it necessary for companies producing honey to have a policy ensuring this was not happening in their supply chain. Therefore Aldi lost half a mark in the Animal Rights category.

Reference:

www.aldi.co.uk/ (8 January 2020)

In January 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Aldi's website and found that it retailed a number of products made from leather. The company's March 2019 questionnaire stated the following regarding a leather sourcing policy: "Leather and skin products must not be obtained from live skinning or boiling of animals and must not be from the product of unnatural abortions."

As leather was a slaughterhouse by-product, the company lost half a mark in the Animal Rights category.
Leather, as the hide of a dead animal, naturally decomposes. To prevent this decomposition the leather industry uses a cocktail of harmful chemicals including trivalent chromium sulphate, sodium sulphide, sodium sulfhydrate, arsenic and cyanide to preserve it. Tannery effluent also contains large amounts of other pollutants, such as protein, hair, salt, lime sludge and acids. These can all pollute the land, air, and water supply making it a highly polluting industry. The company therefore also lost a mark in the Pollution and Toxics category.

Reference:

www.aldi.co.uk/ (8 January 2020)