UK – German retailer, Lidl has announced that it will be spending £15 billion (US$19.34 billion) on its British business over the next five years, commiting to increase sales of local meat, poultry and fresh produce.

The supermarket chain said that it plans to increase sales of British sourced fresh meat, poultry and fresh produce by more than 10% across the next 12 months.

To deepen its relations with British suppliers, Lidl, part of the Schwarz retail group, said it would introduce longer-term contracts with suppliers to help them invest, expand and provide stability to the business.

In addition, Lidl will also be undertaking a young farmers programme designed to support new talent in the farming industry. Lidl has also pledged to source 100% of their fresh poultry from farms around the UK.

Ryan McDonnell, chief commercial officer at Lidl GB, said: “Our long-term partnerships with farmers are all the more important during economic uncertainty.

“With 2019 marking our 25th anniversary, we are more committed than ever to supporting our suppliers in Britain and offering customers British-sourced products in the future.”

 “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,” McDonnell said.

Fran Bell, a dairy supplier to Lidl through Müller, notes: “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.”

Lidl GB currently trades from 770 stores and has a market share of 6%. The retailer is planning to open 50-60 new stores this year as well as start selling food online.

The supermarket chain recently unveiled a new £70 million (US$90.2 million) warehouse in Motherwell, Scotland and has also committed to spending £500 million (US$644.54 million) in London over the next five years.

Lidl GB’s commitment builds on existing initiatives to support British food and farming businesses. The retailer signed up to the National Farmers’ Union’s Back British Farming Charter in March 2017.