SAFEGUARDING THE LIVESTOCK IN OUR SUPPLY CHAINS

Antibiotics are used to protect the health and welfare of the animals in our food supply chains. In recent years and in light of the Covid-19 pandemic the continued conversation around antibiotic use has become of increasing importance, due to the potential risk of resistance to our own human medicines.

The drive to reduce the use of certain treatments for livestock across the industry is continually progressing, with particular focus on limiting the use of the High Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-CIA) and improving on-farm data collection practices. Lidl GB work alongside a multitude of industry partners, including the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA), the Food Industry Initiative on Antimicrobials (FIIA), the Red Tractor, the AHDB e-Med Hub and eMB-Pigs, the BPC as well as our supply base to ensure the responsible use and continuous reduction of these antibiotics, while ensuring animal welfare remains a priority.

Lidl GB endorses RUMA and is committed to their new reduction targets, set across the animal agricultural sectors for 2021- 2024 (see table below). We are therefore in support of RUMA’s recommendation to use antibiotics on a basis of ‘as little as possible and as much as necessary’ and apply our policies across all the own-brand products sold in our stores.

In addition to this, Lidl subscribes to and fully supports the three FIIA policies covering: the Responsible Use of Antibiotics, the Measurement of Antibiotic Data, and the Code of Conduct on Access to and Use of Industry Data. More information on the FIIA and its policy positions can be found here.

Our Targets & Commitments

This table indicates our targets, adopted from the national targets set by The RUMA Targets Taskforce for 2021-2024, and the progress our suppliers have made in the last year towards these goals. More information can be found here.

Sector2020 Antibiotic Reduction TargetSupplier Performance (2017) data)2020 Results (RUMA)2021 - 2024 Antibiotic Reduction Targets
Dairy

<21.5 mg/kg

17mg/kg

Data currently unavailable

15% mg/kg fall in dairy herds by 2024; baseline 2020/21

25% mg/kg fall in calf rearing units by 2024; baseline 2020/21

Beef

<10 mg/kg

Overall use 19mg/kg

Data currently unavailable

Reduction in cattle injectables by 2024; baseline 0.26 mg/kg

Chicken

<25 mg/kg

9.85mg/kg

Achieved (2015-2019 usage data)

Use remains < 25mg/kg PCU in broiler production

Laying Hens

Maintain <1% birds medicated /day and <0.05% HP-CIAs days medicated

Total birds/days treated remain below 1%

Achieved (2016-2019 usage data)

Maintain <1% birds medicated /day and <0.05% HP-CIAs days medicated

Turkey

<50mg/kg

45.18mg/kg

Achieved (2017-2019 usage data)

Use remains < 50mg/kg PCU in broiler production

Pigs

99 mg/kg

Overall use 131mg/kg

105 mg/kg

No colistin use has been reported in 2020. (AHDB – e-Med hub)

30% reduction in total use by 2024, baseline 2020

Sheep

Reduce overall use by 10%

Data collection efforts ongoing

Data currently unavailable

Annual reduction of 10% in oral doses/year; baseline 7.45 million

Ensure HP-CIAs does not rise in sheep above 0.05% of total sheep use.

Salmon

<5 mg/kg

Data collection efforts ongoing

Data currently unavailable

Maximum 5 mg/kg annually

Trout

<20 mg/kg

Data collection efforts ongoing

Achieved (2017-2019 usage data)

Maintain usage below 20 mg/kg

What has the industry achieved to date?

British farming has been making significant progress in its mission to reduce antibiotic use in its practices. Since 2014 there has been an overall reduction of antibiotic sales in UK farming of 50%. This figure makes the UK one of the lowest using countries of antibiotics in Europe with such a commercially productive farming sector. Sales of Highest Priority Critically Important Antibiotics (HP-CIAs) have fallen by 75% within our British supply chains. Within poultry alone there has been a 97.3% reduction in HP-CIAs since 2012. Since 2015 the British pork industry has seen total antibiotic use reduce by 62%.

Lidl is working hard within its supply chains to improve the responsible use of antibiotics. We have established key focus areas within our strategic supply base through our CSR plans to make progress in this critical area.  There is still work to be done, but the British farming industry has worked collaboratively and risen to this challenge, making significant progress to date.

Sector Highlights

antibiotics

Poultry

Within the industry: 76% reduction in the total use of antibiotics (2012-2019) and 97.3% reduction in the use of critically important antibiotics (2012-2019)

Within Lidl: Within our own chicken supply chain, the use of antibiotics has remained largely within RUMA targets. Despite a challenging year and winter, animal welfare has been prioritised. Where usage temporarily exceeded targets, targeted application and monitoring ensured it was reduced as quickly as possible in line with our goal.

Figure 2 (right) – Lidl GB strategic chicken supplier submitted data Jan 2020 – July 2021, Antibiotic use vs Mortality

Pork

Within the industry: Since 2015, the UK pork industry has delivered year on year reductions in antibiotic use. Despite the challenges and supply chain disruptions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, the sector was able to achieve further reductions, as well as set an ambitious new target for 2021 – 2024, equating to a further 30% reduction against a 2020 baseline.

  • 62% reduction in total use of antibiotics since 2015
  • Zero use of colistin reported in 2020

Figure 3 (left) – Pork Industry eMB Figures, AHDB

Dairy

Within the industry: The industry continues to work hard to align on the collection of antibiotic data in the dairy sector. Sales data of HP-CIAs show a fall of over 70% since 2016. We support the AHDB in their efforts to provide the sector with a centralised Medicine Hub which launched in early 2021 to support progress in antibiotic reduction targets.  

Within Lidl: Lidl supplying dairy farmers have reported a year on year reduction in the use of HP-CIAs by 71%, with 40% of supplying farms reporting no use of HP-CIAs. We will continue to support RUMA in the collection of antibiotic data within the UK dairy supply chains. More information on our dairy supply chain can be found here

What else are we working on?

We have partnered with The University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine on a four-year research and innovation project, supporting post-graduate research in anti-microbial resistance (AMR), specific to the dairy sector in Scotland. As part of Lidl’s ongoing commitment to source responsibly, the project focuses on addressing the known gap between understanding farmer attitudes and supporting the industry to deliver responsible antibiotic usage.

By sponsoring the University of Glasgow and working closely with their team we have engaged with the entire Scottish dairy supply chain through targeted surveys and farmer group meetings. These farmers play a critical role in ensuring animal health and welfare and through this collaboration, we are able to learn from their expertise and develop our approach and policies accordingly.