Lidl NI invests £347m in local producers, with 86% exported

Lidl Northern Ireland has invested a record £347m in the local agri-food industry in the financial year ending February 2022, supporting 60 local producers.

Of all products purchased by the discount retailer, 86% (£298m) goes to its network of stores in export markets, including the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain, Romania, Greece, Cyprus and the US .us

The scope of Lidl’s financial contribution to the local agri-food industry, developed with support from the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, is outlined in a new impact report.

The release of the report coincides with the publication of Lidl Northern Ireland’s financial results for the period 2021/22, which show a year-on-year increase in turnover of 7% to £369m.

Local producers supplying Lidl include Killowen Gin, Hellbent, Irwin’s Bakery, SlumberJack Coffee, Willowbrook Foods, Wilson’s Country, Sperrin Bakery, Crust & Crumb and Dale Farm.

“Locally, our food and drink sector is the largest manufacturing sector in Northern Ireland, bringing £4.9bn of added value to the region and supporting some 113,000 jobs,” said Michael Bell, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA).

“It is a huge driver of economic growth and this report from Lidl Northern Ireland demonstrates how important its supplier relationships are not only to its continued success, but also to supporting a whole network of local growers to grow and export.

“NIFDA has supported Lidl Northern Ireland’s Kickstart supplier development program for the last two years and it is inspiring to see a retailer so committed to sourcing locally and nurturing local suppliers for future success.

“The platform has led many SMEs to become household names through this platform and has provided ongoing support to many more to grow their potential.”

Opening its first store in Cookstown in 1999, Lidl NI has since grown to 41 stores and over 1,000 employees and is the fastest growing retailer in the region.

Conor Boyle, Lidl’s regional managing director in Northern Ireland, said: “Our Great in quality, Lidl in price The brand’s proposition continues to resonate with shoppers and particularly during these challenging times we are seeing even more customers switch to Lidl Northern Ireland.

“A large part of our success is due to our supplier partnerships and being able to offer customers unmatched choice, quality and value.

“Our fantastic suppliers represent the best of the Northern Ireland food and drink industry. Through our supplier partnerships and initiatives like Kickstart, we are proud to be able to showcase our best suppliers on the global stage through our Lidl network.

“As we look to the next decade, we look forward to fostering new and fruitful supplier partnerships and further supporting local businesses to succeed.”

JP Scally, Chief Executive Officer of Lidl Ireland and Lidl Northern Ireland, said: “Our long-standing position as Northern Ireland’s fastest growing supermarket is testament to our established business model focused on investing in our network of local suppliers and to offer high quality, locally sourced fresh produce at a great value to nearly half a million weekly shoppers across the region.

“Our consistent strong business performance allows us to continue to invest resources in expanding our network of local suppliers, as well as our network of stores in the region, which has grown significantly over the past decade.

“We look forward to building on this even further in the years to come, working with more farmers, growers and growers to champion the region and promote its unrivaled credentials for exceptional quality products through our global network of stores.”

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