Supermarket Chains Ecology Question 8

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EN: Concerning veal, beef and dairy; does the brand have a policy to abide by progressive animal welfare standards, and does the brand already show substantial performances?
NL: Voor zuivel, rund- en kalfsvlees; heeft het merk een beleid om vooruitstrevende standaarden voor dierenwelzijn toe te passen, en toont het merk al aanmerkelijke prestaties?
DE: Setzt der Markenhersteller progressive Tierschutzmaßnahmen bei der Rinder-, Lamm- und Milchviehhaltung um? Berichtet die Marke über signifikante Resultate zu den getroffenen Maßnahmen?


Veal is a controversial issue in terms of animal welfare [1]. One key-issue is the production of white meat, where calves suffer from anaemia [2]. All Dutch supermarkets have already banned this white meat [3].

Livestocks are generally kept in an enclosure, are fed by human-provided food. This is the case for both dairy and meat cows in the Netherlands, where animal welfare is at stake. Supermarkets may partly source their beef from other parts of the world, like the UK or Argentina. Milk is more likely a domestic product, because of freshness.

Ranking Guidelines

For this question we ask supermarkets to define a policy, that minimally comprises:

- 1. an animal welfare standard with basic criteria that exceeds the conventional practices,
- 2. a plan of action to increase the sales of beef, veal and milk produced according to this standard.
- 3. Significant and substantial progress, where the full assortment of beef, veal or dairy already meets the standard.

We encourage supermarkets to follow standards as defined by independent animal welfare organizations.

Further resources

  • Milieudefensie - Stand van zaken ultimatum van Milieudefensie aan Convenant Weidegang, effective by June 2016 1
  • Beter Leven - Zuivel (Dairy), effective by April 2016 1
  • Beter Leven - Criteria 1