In November 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Aldi South Group website and for information about the company's approach to animal testing, the following statement was found:

"The leading animal protection organisation, Cruelty Free International, has accredited ALDI UK’s entire own-label household and beauty range as cruelty free certified."

The company's UK website further stated "All of our own brand cosmetic and personal care products and household and cleaning products are approved under the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny programme, the internationally recognisable gold standard for cruelty free products. We adhere to a fixed cut-off date policy and proactively monitor our suppliers to ensure that our products continue to adhere to the Leaping Bunny criteria. Our supplier monitoring system is also independently audited."

While the UK arm 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 US's 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 in the United States.

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 November 2020, Ethical Consumer searched the Aldi website and found that the company sold meat products not labelled as free range or organic.

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 (30 January 2019)

In November 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:

cr.aldisouthgroup.com (30 January 2019)

In November 2020, Ethical Consumer viewed Aldi South Group's website and found that the company sold leather as a substantial part of its business. The company lost a whole mark under Ethical Consumer’s Animal Rights category.

It also lost half a mark under the Pollution and Toxics category for the following reason: Leather, as the hide of a dead animal, naturally decomposes. To prevent this decomposition the leather industry uses a cocktail of harmful chemicals to preserve leather, including trivalent chromium sulphate, sodium sulphide, sodium sulfhydrate, arsenic and cyanide. 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.

Aldi's website stated that 77% of tanneries it used held valid Leather Working Group (LWG) certificates. However, Ethical Consumer required companies to source leather 100% gold LWG rated tanneries in order to avoid losing marks under the Pollution and Toxics category.

Reference:

www.aldi.co.uk (30 January 2019)