“The customer is ready,” the budget store said in a statement, citing increasing sales of sustainably produced goods and a change in consumer awareness as the reasons for the decision.
Meat sold in German supermarkets is rated according to animal welfare standards from one to four, with the lowest rating offering the poorest conditions.
Aldi said it was aiming for 15 percent of meat in its stores to adhere to levels three and four by the end of this year, rising to 33 percent by 2026.
It aims to stop selling level-one meat completely by 2025 and for all meat to adhere to levels three and four by 2030.
International and frozen goods will be exempt from the policy.
Greenpeace said the discount retailer had landed a “bull’s eye” and praised the decision as “a milestone that shows the whole industry the way to go”.
Thomas Schroeder, president of the German Animal Welfare Federation, also welcomed the move and called for other retailers to follow suit.
“From our point of view, the current legal basis for the keeping of animals in agriculture is not sufficient to ensure animal welfare,” he said.
Renate Kuenast of the Green party accused the government of being “overtaken” by the food industry on the issue and of being too slow to work out new meat production methods with farmers.
The Bild daily warned that means “one kilogramme of mince for 0.99 euros will no longer be available at the supermarket” in sausage-mad Germany, calling it an “Aldi-Bombshell”.
Germany’s rating system measures the amount of space the animals have and whether they have access to outdoor space, as well as the quality of their feed, care and health monitoring.
Level four guarantees at least twice as much space as level one, as well as permanent access to outdoor space.