Responsibly Managing Forests
Many of our products, from books to chocolate to washing up liquid, use products that are derived from trees. Responsibly managing our forests is one of the most effective ways to curb global warming, as well as conserving wildlife and protecting indigenous communities.
Here are a few approaches we think will make a big difference.
Timber, Paper and Pulp
All of the wood and paper in our products, including pulp-based primary packaging, must be either sourced from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification (PEFC), or made from 100% recycled sources.
Whilst it is used as an ingredient in a range of products, 75% of soy produced globally is used to feed animals. It is therefore a vital ingredient for the production of our meat, poultry, dairy and eggs.
Most soy is grown in South America. The rise in global demand for protein in recent years has increased the demand for soy and so vast areas of land have been converted to soy cultivation. This has led to biodiversity-rich areas such as the Amazon, the Gran Chaco and the Cerrado being cleared.
Soy is now the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation.
We estimate our soy footprint to be just over 274,600 tonnes (2021 data). We are working with our suppliers to ensure zero-net deforestation for soy by 2025.
Our aim is for all soy used as animal feed for the production of Aldi’s own-brand fresh primary meat, poultry, dairy, eggs and farmed salmon and shrimp, as well as in our meat and milk alternatives, to be sourced from low-risk areas or be physically certified by the end of 2025.
Due to the complexity of the soy supply chain, we will achieve our goal by working on a phased approach, moving from credit purchase to physically certified and focusing on the species that use the largest amount of soy first, in the following order:
Phase 1: • Own-label fresh chicken products, primary pork and shell eggs are covered by zero-deforestation soy credits
Phase 2: • Own-label fresh chicken products are sourced from low-risk areas or physically certified • Own-label fresh liquid milk, fresh primary poultry, beef, and lamb are covered by zero-deforestation soy credits
Phase 3: • Own-label pork and whole shell eggs are sourced from low-risk areas or physically certified • Own-label soy milk and meat alternatives are sourced from low-risk areas or physically certified • Own-label fresh primary farmed shrimp and salmon, and dairy (UK cheese, butter, and yogurt) are covered by zero-deforestation soy credits
Phase 4: • Own-label fresh liquid milk and fresh primary poultry are sourced from low-risk areas or physically certified
Phase 5: • Own-label fresh primary beef, lamb, farmed shrimp, salmon, and dairy (UK cheese, butter, and yogurt) are sourced from low-risk areas or physically certified
The scope of our commitment:
• Includes both legal and illegal deforestation and conversion.• All soy claiming to be deforestation-free must have a fixed cut-off date of 2020 or earlier.
Aldi is a member of the global Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS), which works to promote responsible soy production and, alongside other UK businesses, we are also signatories to the UK Industry Roundtable for Sustainable Soy and Retail Soy Group.
In 2021, we signed up to the UK Soy Manifesto to create a market shift towards deforestation and land conversion free soy in supply chains. Under the UK Soy Manifesto, we will also:
• Encourage our supply chain partners to sign up to the Manifesto• Report annually on progress towards our goals.
The Cerrado Manifesto
The Cerrado is South America’s largest savannah and one of the world’s most important ecosystems. It once covered an area half the size of Europe, but half the native savannah and forests have now been converted to agriculture, primarily for beef and soy production.
To help protect the Cerrado, Aldi UK has signed the Statement of Support to the Cerrado Manifesto. By signing, we have agreed to work with local and international supply chain actors to support the development of soy production in a way that avoids deforestation and native vegetation loss. This includes encouraging agriculture in areas that are already deforested rather than continuing to convert primary rainforest.
Soy production in Europe
In 2021, the Aldi South Group became a member of Donau Soja. This is part of our international approach to work with other stakeholders on industry-wide solutions for deforestation-free soy production.
Donau Soja is a non-profit association supporting the sustainable development of European agriculture and increasing European soy cultivation. Donau Soja have developed two certification schemes: Europe Soya and Donau Soja (especially for the Danube region). Both standards ensure sustainably grown, regional and GM-free soy.