Lidl ramps up investment in British farmers and food businesses by £2bn
Lidl will invest an additional £2billion in its British suppliers as it further cements its presence in the country, putting further pressure on the 'Big Four' supermarkets.
The UK arm of the German discounter, which in 2019 announced plans to invest £15billion in British food and farming businesses by 2025, said it had upped the total figure to £17billion.
Lidl has invested £10billion in the UK food industry since 2020, with £4billion set to be spent this year to help its suppliers grow, the group said on Monday.
The grocer says it sources two-thirds of its core products from the UK, working with over 650 suppliers across the country.
Last year, almost £500million of exports from British suppliers went to other Lidl markets, according to the company.
This included £50million worth of cheese to Lidl's European stores, with Somerset Vintage Cheddar produced by one of its long-standing suppliers, Wyke Farms, becoming one of the most loved cheese at its Polish stores.
Wyke Farms, a Westcountry cheddar cheese supplier, has worked with Lidl since 1994 and has a long-term contact with the group until 2028, in a deal worth £35million a year.
Ryan McDonnell, chief executive at Lidl GB, said: 'The farmers and producers that supply us, some of which have been with us for decades, are paramount to the success of our business.
'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.'
Martin Kottbauer, chief trading officer at Lidl GB, 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.'