Grocery chains Aldi and Lidl are the latest to sign the Better Chicken Commitment (BCC), joining Delhaize and Colruyt in a pledge to support better living conditions for the chickens sold in its stores.
The agreement calls for them to only sell poultry that meets the stricter welfare criteria by 2026, according to the Flemish infocentre for agriculture and horticulture (VILT).
The BCC is an initiative of thirty animal welfare organisations, including Belgium’s GAIA, intended to improve the welfare of chickens raised for slaughter.
Meeting its criteria will necessitate investments in new infrastructure and changes in supply chains, which is why 2026 has been set as the deadline.
Aldi, however, has already begun selling poultry bred to BCC standards as of this month.
Lidl also plans to get a jump start, and will begin applying the stricter criteria from next year onwards.
Among the new standards are more space and daylight for the chickens, and switching to a slower-growing breed, instead of the traditional broiler chickens.
Lidl says it will support the investment with its suppliers “by paying a fair price based on the new standards.”