Raw Materials

Raw Materials

SUSTAINABLE SOURCING OF RAW MATERIALS

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Raw materials and commodities are grown and produced at the first tier of any one of our food supply chains and can originate from a variety of global locations. Tracing our ingredients back to exact sourcing farms or plantations remains a challenge, but is key to helping us understand and tackle potential social and environmental concerns.

Working with multi-stakeholder groups helps to align the wider industry and focus on the most systemic challenges and highest-risk commodities. While industry certification schemes help  ensure best practice at sourcing locations according to various social and environmental factors.

The below list outlines our key actions and ambitions across a mix of products.

For further information about where some of our products originate, please review our transparency page.

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Cocoa

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Over 120 of the products that we sell contain cocoa, which represents more than 5% of our total range. We are proud that, since April 2017, 100% of the cocoa we have sold has come from third party sustainably certified sources.

Cocoa is a valuable crop which is essential to the livelihoods of 40 - 50 million people. Produced in 62 countries worldwide, cocoa’s climate requirements mean that production is limited to within 20 degrees of the equator. 62% of the world’s cocoa is now grown in Africa, with the largest producing countries being Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. The cocoa sector, however, is facing several challenges, including poor soil fertility, aging tree stocks and deforestation. We recognise the importance of sustainable cocoa production, helping farmers to develop good agricultural practices and mitigate against climate change. Through our commitment to sourcing 100% of our cocoa from certified sustainable sources we are playing our part in making sustainable production the norm.

 

Download our Cocoa Sourcing Policy

Palm Oil

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100% of the palm oil, palm kernel oil and derivatives used in our products comes from from sustainably certified sources.

Working with the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the Retailer Palm Oil Group we are taking a collaborative approach to supporting sustainable production and creating market demand.

Palm oil is used in a range of food products such as margarine, biscuits and bread. It is a highly versatile oil crop with 80% of global production taking place in Malaysia and Indonesia. Through our commitment to sourcing palm oil from RSPO certified sources we ensure that growers commit to principles of environmental responsibility, the conservation of natural resources and transparency. Through our annual supplier review we are able to track sustainable palm oil usage, including whether palm oil is sourced through mass balance or segregated supply chain models.

 

Download our Palm Oil Sourcing policy

Eggs

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We have committed to selling 100% of our eggs from cage-free hens by 2025, and ensuring that all of our free range organic eggs are RSPCA Assured.

In the UK, two main systems are used in the production of eggs: enriched cages and free range. The conditions of these systems vary in terms on space, feeding and activity range. Lidl intends to phase out the eggs from caged hens, however we recognise the significant investment made by British egg suppliers in transitioning to enriched caged systems in 2012. We have therefore set timescales that are challenging yet realistic for the industry to achieve, while still meeting the expectations of our customers and the wider public. In addition to this, we offer a range of organics eggs, all of which are RSPCA assured.

 

We are committed to reporting progress against our cage-free target on an annual basis. The table below outlines the progress made by all shell eggs sold by Lidl UK.*

Financial YearProportion of shell eggs from cage-free production systemsProportion of shell eggs from enriched cages
2017/1844%56%
2018/1950%50%

*Figures based on number of shell eggs sold.

 

Download our egg sourcing policy

Coffee

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125 million people worldwide depend on coffee production. We are committed to ensuring the coffee we sell is sourced from sustainable sources and are working with the Rainforest Alliance and the Fairtrade Foundation to certify our range.

For many people, having a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning is an essential part of their daily routine. Coffee is also one of the world's most traded commodities and around 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihoods.  As a major retailer we are aware of our responsibility to ensure that the coffee we sell is sourced in a sustainable manner that improves working conditions and tackles wider social challenges. To do this, we work closely with recognised third-party schemes such as the Fairtrade Foundation and Rainforest Alliance to certify our products, and are a long standing member of the global coffee platform which is an initiative that enables the coffee sector to accelerate its sustainability journey.

 

Download our coffee sourcing policy

Plants & Flowers

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At Lidl, we are committed to sourcing our plants and flowers from suppliers who uphold high social and environmental standards.

As a growing UK retailer, we acknowledge our responsibility to work with our suppliers to meet our commitment to sustainability. Learn more about our responsible sourcing of plants and flowers here.

 

Download our Plants and Flowers sourcing policy