Aldi invests £750m in Kent apple grower

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The new investment forms part of a wider 20-year agreement between the two parties. Credit: Aldi
The new investment forms part of a wider 20-year agreement between the two parties. Credit: Aldi

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Supermarket chain Aldi has invested £750m into a family-owned fruit farm in Kent.

AC Goatham & Son has supplied Aldi with apples and pears since 2016 and was confirmed earlier this year as the retailer’s exclusive provider on British apples.

The new investment, which is part of a wider 20-year agreement, will fund the creation of the 200-acre ‘Aldi Orchard’ at New Green Farm in Gravesend. The orchard will grow Gala and Braeburn apples for Aldi stores across the UK.

Additionally, AC Goatham & Son has plans in place to plant an additional 100 acres per year of apple trees exclusively for Aldi.

Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, said that the supermarket was proud to be one of the “largest buyers of British apples”, ​according to data from British Apples & Pears Limited.

“This new 20-year deal represents a £750m investment in British farming and demonstrates our long-term commitment to championing British produce,” ​added Ashfield.

Founded in 1947 and run by Clive Goatham and his son Ross, the business supplies an estimated 250m apples and pears to Aldi stores each year.

The business is working with Aldi to extend the growing season with controlled atmosphere storage, as well as on its journey to Net Zero.

“This is a fantastic achievement and a real testament to the work both AC Goatham & Son and Aldi have put into the agreement to have created something truly collaborative, a first for the British Top Fruit Sector,”​ said Ross Goatham.

“This gives us the confidence now to invest for the future and to grow more British apples and pears for Aldi, guaranteeing sustainability, viability and most importantly UK food security.”

The move is the most recent in a series of investments by Aldi this year, including the switch to 100% recycled plastic on own label soft drink and water bottles and the launch of own brand paper wine bottles in partnership with Frugalpac.

In other news, senior appointments have been announced at Marks and Spencer, Pladis and Applied Nutrition.

Related topics Fresh produce

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