Lidl NI ploughs record £347 million into local agri-food industry
Lidl Northern Ireland, the region’s fastest-growing supermarket retailer, has ploughed a record £347 million into the agri-food industry here in the last financial year ending February 2022 and supported 60 local producers to success, a new impact report has revealed.
Developed with the support of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, the new report highlights the retailer’s significant economic contribution to the agri-food industry and underscores its longstanding commitment to sourcing produce locally.
The report also found that of that £347 million, £298 million worth of goods procured by Lidl Northern Ireland from suppliers in the region was exported globally through Lidl’s expansive store network, reaching new customer bases across Europe from Great Britain and Ireland as far as Romania, Greece, Cyprus and even to the USA.
A huge part of our success is down to our supplier partnerships and being able to offer customers unrivalled choice, quality and value
From locally distilled Killowen Gin to Hellbent’s spicy burgers, Irwin’s freshly baked bread to SlumberJack’s artisan coffee, Willowbrook’s fresh salads to Wilson’s Country potatoes, to tasty baked treats from Sperrin Bakery, moreish pizza from Crust & Crumb and melt-in-the-mouth ice cream from Dale Farm, shoppers are enjoying a real taste of home with an increasingly expansive line of authentic Northern Irish produce.
Welcoming the new report findings, Michael Bell, Executive Director, Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA) said: “Locally, our food and drink sector is Northern Ireland’s largest manufacturing sector, contributing £4.9 billion in value added to the region and supporting some 113,000 jobs.
“It’s a huge driver of economic growth and this report by Lidl Northern Ireland demonstrates just how significant its supplier relationships are not only to its ongoing success, but to supporting an entire network of local producers to grow and export.”
Alongside its established supplier network, Lidl Northern Ireland is also committed to supporting SMEs and home-grown businesses to realise their potential through its industry-leading Kickstart Supplier Development Programme.
DECADES OF GROWTH
Now in its fifth year, the retailer has invested more than £1 million in growing more than 30 local suppliers through the initiative.
“NIFDA has been a supporter of Lidl Northern Ireland’s Kickstart Supplier Development Programme for the past couple of years and it’s inspiring to see a retailer so committed to local sourcing and cultivating home-grown suppliers to future success. The platform has led many SMEs to become household names through this platform and provided ongoing support to many more to grow their potential”, added Michael Bell.
With 41 stores and more than 1,000 employees, Lidl Northern Ireland has powered through two decades of growth with its high-quality, low-price proposition since it opened its first store in Cookstown in 1999. Since then, the retailer has firmly embedded itself as a local brand, with stores strategically built within the heart of communities and a commitment to supplying fresh, home-grown produce at exceptional quality and value.
Conor Boyle, Regional Managing Director Lidl Northern Ireland said: “Our established “Big on Quality, Lidl on Price” brand proposition continues to resonate with shoppers and particularly during these challenging times, we’re seeing even more customers make the switch to Lidl Northern Ireland. A huge part of our success is down to our supplier partnerships and being able to offer customers unrivalled choice, quality and value.
“Our fantastic suppliers represent the best of Northern Ireland’s food and drink industry. Through our supplier partnerships and initiatives like Kickstart, we’re proud to be able to showcase our best performing suppliers on the global stage through our Lidl network. As we look ahead to the next decade, we look forward to nurturing new and fruitful supplier partnerships and supporting even more local businesses to success.”
The report launch coincides with the publication of Lidl Northern Ireland’s financial results for the 2021/22 period which recorded turnover of more than £369 million – up 7% on the previous year.