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UK: Lidl to invest £4bn. into British food industry

Lidl is set to make a £4 billion investment into the British food industry this year to support suppliers across the country.

This looks to accelerate the discount grocer’s initial spending pans of £15bn between 2020 and 2025, as this investment is set to boost the expected figure to £17bn. Lidl currently has two thirds of its core produce sourced from the UK and works directly with over 650 suppliers across the country.

“The farmers and producers that supply us, some of which have been with us for decades, are paramount to the success of our business,” Lidl GB CEO, Ryan McDonnell said.

“We see them as partners in our mission to provide households with high quality affordable produce, and for many, working with Lidl GB and being part of our growth has opened opportunities for their own expansion, both here in the UK and across the globe.”

Lidl GB chief trading officer, Martin Kottbauer added: “Providing our suppliers with the security and certainty needed for them to invest and grow has been a big focus for us over the years.

“It’s why we’ve led the industry on the introduction of longer-term contracts, and it’s why our continued investment in the British food and farming industry remains an absolute priority for our business.”

Westcountry cheddar cheese supplier, Wyke Farms has a £35 million a year long-term contract with the supermarket until 2028 and as a result, its produce is now being exported to 16 other Lidl markets. Through their work together, Lidl and Wyke have launched the first supermarket carbon-neutral cheddar, helping dairy farmers to take decisive action to reduce their on-farm emissions.

The businesses are also working together to create a closed-loop system by 2030 to ensure that carbon neutrality is being achieved completely within the supply chain itself.

Wyke Farms managing director, Richard Clothier said: Our long-term relationship with Lidl has given the Wyke business the confidence to invest in a range of long-term projects across our business.

“These include renewable energy streams, on-farm emission reductions, new processing facilities for butter and cheese, plus new cheese stores for maturing more aged cheeses.

“These are all projects that benefit regional farmers, the environment and ultimately the Lidl shopper.”

Source: Grocery Gazette

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