Lidl to sell exclusively free-range chicken by 2023
Supermarket chain Lidl will cease selling chicken without a free range quality brand stamp by 2023, animal rights organization Wakker Dier announced on Monday.
“With this step, we are making an essential contribution to the improvement of the chickens’ quality of life”, Marian Verheij from Lidl said.
In two years' time, all chicken sold in Lidl will have at least one out of three “Beter Leven” stars. Chickens with one Beter Leven star spend more time outdoors. They also have more time to grow up which is better for the chicken’s health. “It’s fantastic that Lidl is taking this step”, Anne Hilhorst from Wakker Dier said.
Wakker Dier has been fighting for years to improve living conditions for chickens. Supermarket chain Albert Heijn announced already at the beginning of March that they will also only sell free-range chicken by 2023. “These are the biggest steps for animal welfare in the supermarket sector for years”, Hilhorst said.
In many Dutch supermarkets, most chicken that is currently sold does not come from a quality brand. This means that the animals often do not have any access to sunlight and spend their lives in cramped cages. “The chickens rarely see the light of day unless, on the way to the butcher”, Hilhorst says.
Wakker Dier hopes that other supermarkets will soon follow in the steps of Lidl and Albert Heijn.