This latest round of investment into the industry accelerates the group’s initial spending plans announced in 2019, which saw Lidl GB commit to a five-year £15bn investment in the British food industry across full-year 2020 to 2025.
Lidl GB is now on track to spend £17bn and has invested £10bn since March 2020.
Commenting on the investment, chief executive Ryan McDonnel 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.”
One of the big winners from Lidl’s spending have been cheesemakers, with the supermarket’s suppliers sending more than £50m worth of British cheese overseas to its European stores.
Westcountry cheddar cheese supplier Wyke Farm’s longstanding agreement with the supermarket has netted them a contract worth £35m a year and has sparked the development of the ‘first supermarket carbon-neutral cheddar’.
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.”
Lidl GB currently holds the largest market share in volume of fresh British pork, according to the retailer. It sources two-thirds of its core produce from the UK, working with 650 suppliers across the country.
It has committed to funding and implementing 10 whole chain food waste projects by 2025, working with suppliers to find further solutions to reducing waste and creating additional value in the supply chain.
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.”