As part of its plan to invest a record £15billion into British food, farming and production businesses, German-owned discounter Lidl GB has pledged to increase sales of British sourced fresh meat, poultry and fresh produce by over 10 per cent across the next 12 months. This follows on from Lidl’s previous commitment to source 100 per cent of its listed fresh poultry from UK farms.
At a time when the threat of either a no-deal Brexit or a deal which doesn’t go far enough to protect the interests and livelihoods of British farmers is causing uncertainty in the supply chain, the news will be welcomed by the British farming community.
Additional initiatives from the supermarket include longer-term contracts that will ensure suppliers have the stability to invest for the future, helping them to develop their business and create new jobs, plus a young farmers programme which has been designed to support new talent in the farming industry.
One farmer benefitting from both initiatives is Sam Bailey, who was recently named Young Farmer of the Year. Sam is part of the supermarket’s Grassroots Dairy Partnership which was formed as part of Lidl’s long-term contract with Müller. At just 23 years old, Sam is supplying 50% of his milk to Lidl GB stores.
Lidl GB chief commercial officer, Ryan McDonnell, comments: “As our business continues to grow, it’s vital that our suppliers remain at the heart of our growth plans, and that is why we are committed to investing at least £15billion over the next five years. Our business is only ever as good as our suppliers’, so our investments and commitments are key to ensuring that they can invest and expand with us.
“Our long-term partnerships with farmers are all the more important during economic uncertainty and, with 2019 marking our 25th anniversary, we are more committed than ever to supporting our suppliers here in Britain and offering customers British-sourced products in the future.”
Lidl GB’s latest pledge builds on existing initiatives to support British food and farming businesses. In March 2017, the discounter also signed the NFU’s ‘Back British Farming Charter’, which followed its 2016 commitment to the ‘NFU’s Fruit & Veg Pledge’, further cementing Lidl’s support for the British farming industry.