Greenpeace campaign bears fruits: Aldi Süd bans bee-harming pesticides

Press release - 18 January, 2016
Hamburg/Amsterdam, 18 January 2016 – Aldi Süd is the first big retailer in Europe to ban eight bee-harming pesticides from domestic fruits and vegetables produced for their markets.

The German company made it a requirement on January 1 for its suppliers to phase out the pesticides most harmful to bees, including some of the group of neonicotinoids, it said in a letter to Greenpeace Germany. The environmental organisation urges supermarkets to phase out hazardous pesticides in fruit and vegetable production and to support farmers to switch to ecological practices.

Christiane Huxdorff, Ecological Farming Campaigner at Greenpeace Germany, said: “Aldi Süd shows that the toxic dependency on pesticides can be broken and in this sense becomes a pioneer in the retail sector. Other European supermarkets are now called upon to follow this first step.”

The eight chemical pesticides to be phased out by Aldi Süd are thiamethoxam (used in lettuce and endive), chlorpyrifos, clothianidin (used in kohlrabi, herbs, Brussels sprouts, head cabbage, cauliflower and kale), cypermethrin (leek, head cabbage and leguminous vegetables), deltamethrin (cauliflower, peppers, eggplant, zucchini, cucumber, pea, head cabbage, tomato and lettuce), fipronil (only exceptional authorizations for potato fields), imidacloprid (applied to apples, peaches, apricots and lettuce) and sulfoxaflor.

Greenpeace tests in 2015 [1] showed a widespread use of pesticides in fields and plantations, which also end up in our food. [2] Compliance with the minimum legal requirements is not enough, as interactions between different substances, for example, are not taken into account.

“Chemical pesticides are present from the field to our plate", said Huxdorff.Supermarkets are an important part of the supply chain and have to work on non-chemical solutions together with farmers. This move from a big market actor is also a sign for our politicians. European decision-makers must act now and not only convert the partial ban on three neonicotinoids and fipronil into a full one but broaden its scope to all pesticides threatening our bees.”

More than 100 000 consumers, gardeners and farmers have already joined the movement on the Greenpeace online platform, supporting ecological farming.


Notes to editors:

[1] “The Bitter Taste of Europe’s Apple Production and how Ecological Solutions can Bloom” a co-publishing project between Greenpeace International Science Unit and Greenpeace Netherlands.

Cotter, J; Reuter, W. (2015) “The Bitter Taste of Europe’s Apple Production. An Analysis of Pesticides in European Apple Orchards”

Cotter, J; Johnston, P.; Santillo, D.; van Bekkem, H.; van der Sterren, M. (2015) “How Ecological Solutions can Bloom. Ecological Pest Management and Alternative Control For The Most Important Diseases And Pests in Apples”

[2] Huxdorff, C; Johnston, P; Santillo, D; (2015) “Pesticide application as routine in EU apple production” Greenpeace Germany e.V


Christiane Huxdorff, Ecological Farming Campaigner, Greenpeace Germany, +49 171 60 35 529,

Christine Gebeneter, EU Communications Coordinator, Ecological Farming Project, Greenpeace Netherlands, +31 62 9 11 00 46,