Discount supermarket chain Lidl GB will invest £15bn in British food, farming and production over the next five years.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Lidl GB has pledged that over the next 12 months it will increase sales of British-sourced fresh meat, poultry and fresh produce by over 10%. This follows its commitment to source 100% of its listed fresh poultry from farms in the UK.

The supermarket is continuing its support for its suppliers by introducing longer-term contracts, helping them to invest in their future, creating new jobs and developing their businesses. It has also introduced a young farmer’s programme supporting talent in the farming industry.

This new investment comes as the discounter builds on existing initiatives including the National Farmers’ Union’s (NFU) ‘Back British Farming Charter’ that Lidl signed in 2017 and the NFU’s  ‘Fruit and Veg Pledge commitment to the British farming industry.

Lidl GB chief commercial officer Ryan McDonnell said: “ 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 committing to investing at least £15bn 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.”

A.C. Hulme & Sons is Lidl’s main supplier of apples and pears for over ten years.  Co-owner and director Tom Hulme said: “We wouldn’t have even contemplated upgrading our packhouse if it wasn’t for our confidence in Lidl’s future custom. The company has stayed true to its word with its growing orders over the years, giving us certainty in an industry that faces many uncertainties, like the British weather.”

Muller dairy farmer Fran Bell said: “Our farming business had committed to large capital investments, to modernise and promote efficiencies in preparation to include our next generation within the business. The Lidl fixed-price scheme has given us certainty, within a volatile market, to lock in a percentage of our milk at a known price for two years. This will enable us to protect those investments whilst helping to secure a sustainable future for this business.”