Bio-Suisse makes bud label almost unattainable for Aldi and Lidl
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The umbrella organization of Swiss organic producers has established new rules. For discount store chains, the use of the Bud label is thus moving into the far distance. Rumor has it that competitor Coop might have something to do with it.
For years, Aldi has been striving to obtain the Bio Suisse bud label in Switzerland. But the organization stands firm. The retailer cannot comprehend the refusal attitude. Perhaps the no vote could have something to do with the competitor Coop.
As the Swiss paper Tages-Anzeiger supposedly knows, Aldi is said to have been close to signing a contract with Bio Suisse for the use of the Bud label. There had already been agreement on the use of the label and a corresponding fee schedule – but then, the rules for using the label were promptly changed.
New requirements too high for discounters
Since then, a new three-level model has made it impossible for the large discounters Aldi and also Lidl to meet the requirements. According to information from an anonymous source of the Tages-Anzeiger, competitor Coop is said to have played its part in this change of rules.
The current model stipulates that if the requirements of the first stage are met, Bio-Suisse products may be sold but not labelled as such. The label may only be used by those suppliers at level two (without the Bud) and three (with the Bud).
However, their requirements are high: According to the source, 400 organic products must be on offer for the second stage, 800 for the third.
Wie Unternehmenssprecher Philippe Vetterli zitiert wird, sind bei Aldi aber nur 130 von insgesamt 1.600 Produkten biologisch produziert. Bei Lidl sind es 300 Produkte. Bei Coop sind es 4.000. Damit zahlt der Detailhändler Millionen Franken an Lizenzgebühren. Was die entsprechende Macht gegenüber Aldi und Lidl erklärt.
As company spokesman Philippe Vetterli is quoted, however, only 130 of a total of 1,600 products at Aldi are organically produced. Lidl offers 300 organic products. Coop has 4,000, which means that the retailer pays millions of francs in royalties. Which explains the corresponding power in relation to Aldi and Lidl.
The competition is not new
In order to be able to prohibit Aldi from advertising with the Bud label, Bio Suisse already changed its guidelines in 2009. Since then, if producers sell their organic products to Aldi, they need an explicit permit if their products are to be advertised and offered with the Bud label somewhere.
Aldi therefore sells its organic products under its own label "Natur Aktiv". This label is based on the EU Organic Regulation. In a WWF study, however, "Natur Aktiv" comes off worse than other organic labels because the EU has few or no requirements in the areas of irrigation, biodiversity, climate and social affairs, as the WWF guide writes.
Bio Suisse nevertheless vows to reconsider the model.
Editor's note: The article was first published on kleinreport.ch.