Ever since the Dieselgate issue emerged, Volkswagen has been cleaning up (no pun intended) its image. Not only are they now producing more hybrid and electric vehicles, but they are also slowly moving away from the internal combustion engine (ICE).
It seems Volkswagen wants to do more than stepping away with ICEs. In its latest effort to reduce its carbon footprint, Volkswagen announced that it will stop making its famous Currywurst sausages in its cafeteria at the Wolfsburg factory.
The company said that the removal of the Currywurst is to cut its meat production for the sake of sustainability. But why is that? Just like vehicles powered by ICEs, global meat production contributes to carbon emissions. Volkswagen wants to further reduce its emissions as a whole by using alternative ingredients for its sausages.
At the moment, the company already offers vegetarian alternatives. However, Volkswagen is also looking at vegan and plant-based alternatives to use in future sausages.
Unfortunately, people are not taking Volkswagen's plans to remove the Currywurst from its factory lightly. Even former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder (the predecessor of Angela Merkel) was displeased with Volkswagen's decision to remove Currywurst. Schroder said that there would be no such removal if he was still a member of the Volkswagen Government Supervisory Board.
“A vegetarian diet is good, and I do it myself in phases. But basically no Currywurst? No! Currywurst with French fries is one of the power foods of the skilled workers in production. It should stay that way,” said Schroder.
But why are people making a big deal out of this? The Currywurst (which is a pork sausage covered in a ketchup-like spicy sauce) that Volkswagen makes has been a staple at its cafeteria factories since 1973. It's made in-house at Wolfsburg and is served at various German factories. The company is so proud of its Currywurst that they even gave the sausage its own part number, '199 398 500A'. Aside from serving them at their factories, the company also sells the sausages at supermarkets and gives them to customers that purchase a vehicle.
In the future, Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said that they plan to abolish all of the automaker's factory-farmed meat by 2025. With their famous Currywurst set to be replaced by plant-based or vegan-based alternatives, will people still buy them?