Lidl invests £500m in British pork

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Lidl will invest £500m in British pork
Lidl will invest £500m in British pork

Related tags Investment

Discount retailer Lidl is to invest £500m in British pork in a bid to address sector-wide challenges and improve margins for farmers.

This latest round of investment blows the company’s previous £14m cash injection in 2022 out of the water, doubling down on Lidl’s ‘100% everyday British pork’ commitment.

Reportedly the fourth-largest retailer in the fresh pork category, Lidl hoped its actions will help tackle some of the challenges facing the sector today, such as butcher shortages, rising input costs and a Chinese import ban on EU pork.

Lidl has also moved its pork producer to an open-book producer costing model that includes the on-farm cost of production, guarantees minimum producer volumes and includes a fixed margin for farmers.

Further, the retailer will fund research a development projects aimed at mimicking the natural behaviours of pigs – such as rooting, sniffing and chewing – in the hopes of improving their overall wellbeing.

‘Need for intervention’

Richard Bourns, chief commercial officer at Lidl GB, said: “Acknowledging the challenges faced by the industry and its farmers in recent years, we recognised the need for intervention and the development of a bespoke solution addressing these challenges.

“That’s why we’ve been working closely with our suppliers and farmers, including major partners such as Cranswick and Pilgrim’s, to ensure we understand the intricacies of this supply chain and are well positioned to deliver impactful change.”

Lidl’s investment into British Pork will also feature a ‘three-pronged’ approach to tackling the sustainability of the sector, including assessments into the carbon footprint of all the farms in its producer group, a £250,000 investment in at-risk GB catchments to support river health and water quality, and working towards deforestation-free soy sourcing by the end of 2025.

“With our pork market share significantly greater than our broader market share, it highlights the substantial influence we have in this area and we’re embracing our responsibility to drive positive change,”​ Bourns added.

Supporting communities

“Our new pork standard is all about supporting our rural communities and ensuring the resilience of the sector while providing customers with high-quality British pork at affordable prices.”

Lidl’s announcement was welcomed by members of the pork production community and its promise to support a sustainable domestic supply of British pork.

Fábio Brancher, operations director for agriculture at Pilgrim’s Europe, commented: “With Lidl’s support, this collaborative approach will provide crucial stability for our third-party farmers, shielding them from market volatility and aiding their recovery from recent challenges.

“This next step with Lidl underscores our commitment to supporting British farmers and fostering a sustainable future for the sector, and we look forward to developing our relationship further.”

Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly turning to meat during mealtimes,​ but cost-of-living pressures have driven cost-conscious families to choose cheaper cuts and more filling dishes.

Related topics Meat, poultry & seafood Operations

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