One of the major concerns for residents of the United States, when shopping, is whether a product is made in America or not.
Buying American-made items is important because it provides a boost to the economy. Beyond that, buying from an American company ensures that your product was most likely sourced ethically and has followed major U.S. laws and regulations.
This is especially important for Americans when it comes to food and products that we consume on a daily basis.
Aldi is a German supermarket chain and has a major European foundation. This leaves customers with questions about where Aldi gets their food from. Do their stores in the United States get their food from American companies, somewhere in Europe, or are they selling food that came all the way from China?
To find the answers to all of the questions, we conducted some pretty extensive research, and in this article, we’re going to share all of the details with you.
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Does Aldi Meat Come From China In 2023?
Aldi stores that are based in the United States purchase the majority of their foods from American companies and farms. However, there are some things that Aldi buys elsewhere, namely their seafood. Aldi gets its seafood from Chinese fisheries.
Aldi’s partnership, along with other major grocery chains’ partnerships, with Chinese seafood factories was brought to public attention back in 2017. This partnership was heavily criticized by the public due to its involvement with North Korea. However, no statements were made at the time or have been made since by Aldi on the matter.
With that in mind, it’s normal to start wondering what foods exactly come from China and what foods don’t. And that’s also why many Aldi customers ask if Aldi chicken is good.
You also might be curious if there is a way to tell when a product isn’t made in America. To find out more on the matter, keep reading.
What Foods At Aldi Are From China?
Currently, a portion of the seafood sold at Aldi is still from Chinese fisheries. If you visit Aldi’s corporate website, you can find where the company mentions its supply chain. It doesn’t mention where their source is, but it does talk about the steps they are taking to ensure the source is an ethical one.
So for the customers wondering if Aldi are ethical, the answer is yes, they are.
The public was made aware of Aldi’s partnership, as well as the partnerships of other large grocery chains, with Chinese fisheries back in 2017, as mentioned above. Aldi’s brand Sea Queen seafood was sourced using unethical North Korean labor.
It was referred to as a modern-day equivalent to slavery. North Korean citizens would work in Chinese fisheries on loan from the North Korean government in horrible working conditions. The majority of their pay was then seized from them and put into North Korea’s nuclear missile program.
The public was rightly outraged, and, while other companies made vague blanket statements on the matter, Aldi remained quiet and has made no comments since.
Aldi’s website notes that its Fremont Fish Market items are “Simple Sustainable Seafood”, with no real information on where it is coming from. In the bottom paragraph about their seafood sourcing, they provide a link to the Ocean Disclosure Project, which is a nonprofit that aims to help you figure out where and how your seafood is sourced.
Currently, Aldi continues to receive its albacore tuna from Chinese fisheries. These fisheries aren’t certified by any Fishery Improvement Projects. They are also graded as just being “managed” instead of the preferable “well-managed”.
Is There Other Meat At Aldi From China?
All other meat at Aldi is not sourced from Chinese companies or farms. Aldi is known for having low and affordable prices, which includes its meat. This can make some people skeptical about where their meat is coming from.
With this being said, Aldi stores that are based in the United States get their meat products from local or regional farms. This probably comes as a relief to many people who may have been concerned about where their meat was sourced from.
Some of the meats do come from outside of the United States, notably the organic, grass-fed Aldi beef. It doesn’t come from China, though, and is instead sourced from South America.
How Can You Tell If Aldi’s Food Is From China?
The United States has laws that require grocery chains to provide you with information on where your food comes from. This requires the packaging to have a country of origin label (COOL). This requirement is made by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
There is a workaround to this requirement, unfortunately. If a product goes from its starting country to a separate country, before entering the United States, and the product goes through a “substantial transformation”, it can be declared as coming from the other country instead of the original country.
However, when it comes to providing a COOL for seafood, the laws are more strict. The label must include where the seafood was caught, as well as where it was processed if those places were not in the United States.
All you need to do to find out where your food is coming from is check the labels. Stores, including Aldi, are legally obligated to tell you the country of origin, especially if it is a seafood product.
If the label has no country of origin, then it was sourced in the United States.
Are Any Other Products At Aldi From China?
With China being a major supply chain player for several countries, the majority of large retail chains will source at least some of their products from the country. Aldi sources the majority of its food from countries other than China. This doesn’t necessarily apply to other items you can find in Aldi’s stores.
These other products include things like household items, pet items, clothes, and more. Some of these products are bought from China. If you are curious about where a product came from, you can, again, check the packaging and the labels.
All you need to look for is where the product was made on any product you are concerned about. It should say somewhere on the product, even if it is in small print.
Aldi’s Huntington Home Scissors says “Made in China” on the labels. However, Aldi’s Easy Home trash cans say “Made in America” on the labels. You need to check each individual product’s label because you can’t distinguish where something is sourced from just by its brand.
Conclusion – Is Aldi Food Made In China?
Aldi does source some of its food and other products from China. Aldi’s albacore tuna is the only food that it currently buys from China. All other foods come from other countries, with the majority being from the United States for its American stores.
If the country of origin is important to you, always look for the COOL on the packaging. This way you can find out where your food item is coming from. It’s also worth mentioning that many of the home items and electronics that are sold at Aldi are made in China.