Aldi Süd and Lidl: Large discounters go out of the charcoal

The two large discounters Aldi Süd and Lidl have removed charcoal briquettes from their Polish supplier Dancoal. "We assume that there are no or only small quantities of charcoal briquettes available in many of our branches," said a spokesperson for Aldi Süd.

Lidl also confirmed that they had withdrawn the Dancoal products from the market. But there are other coal suppliers.

The reason for the shelves: the non-profit organization Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) prohibited Dancoal from using the important timber seal "FSC", which proves the processing of wood from sustainable forestry.

The Polish company was already the focus of research by the NDR and the environmental organization "World Wide Fund for Nature" (WWF). This showed that charcoal sold in Germany disquietingly contains large quantities of tropical timber and wood from protected Eastern European primeval forests. Now FSC reacted and Dancoal pulled the seal away. The investigations and inspections confirmed the suspicion that the tropical wood used comes from non-certified forests, according to the organization.

"Consumers must be certain that an FSC product meets the highest social and environmental standards," says Kim Cartensen, director general of FSC. That is why the organization has consistently followed up the reports about abuse of the FSC seal

At Aldi Süd the bag with 3 kilo charcoal briquettes "BBQ time for grilling" is affected. About half of all 30 regional companies of Aldi Süd are supplied exclusively by Dancoal, while the other regional companies also source charcoal from other suppliers.

85 percent of the charcoal sold in Germany is imported. An important transhipment point is Poland, where charcoal from South America and Eastern Europe is portioned and packaged.

In Germany, an average of 250,000 tons of charcoal is consumed each year, probably much more this year because of the good weather.

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