- Lidl GB has offered support to its fruit and vegetable suppliers following the impact of extreme weather conditions on fresh produce
- The discounter will take products affected by the drought which, may look and feel a bit different to what shoppers are typically used to
- Lidl GB CEO, Ryan McDonnell, is calling on other supermarkets to follow suit to support the sector
Thursday 25th August: Today, Lidl GB announces support for its fresh fruit and vegetable produce suppliers across Great Britain, helping them tackle the challenge of a growing quantity of stunted crop due to the hottest and driest weather seen in half a century.
The retailer has today written to all of its British fresh produce suppliers to offer support and look for ways to ensure that high quality British crops are not going to waste. The supermarket will work closely with suppliers to identify key crop challenges, and where possible work to accommodate these products within its existing lines.
Through this flexible approach, Lidl will help to prevent perfectly good, quality produce from going to waste because of variations in specifications, for example a different size to what shoppers are typically used to.
Ryan McDonnell, Lidl GB CEO said: “Farmers across the country are facing a big challenge this year due to the extreme weather conditions experienced over the summer months. Whilst the crop coming out may look and feel a bit different to what we’re all used to, it’s still the same great British quality. We therefore want to show support for our suppliers by working with them to find solutions to help.
“Lidl is built on the foundation of making good food accessible and affordable to everyone, and our fresh produce range is key to achieving this. Whilst some supermarkets have chosen to create a separate ‘wonky veg’ label for items that don’t quite fit a certain specification, we don’t believe in a creating a false market. Instead, we have always strived to work collaboratively with our suppliers to ensure that we are flexible with variations in specifications at different times of the year. However, now, more than ever, it’s critical that we and the rest of the sector get behind our suppliers. That’s why we have written to all of our British fresh produce suppliers, and I would urge other supermarkets to do the same, so that together we can ensure that perfectly good produce isn’t going to waste.”
Lidl has also committed to funding and implementing 10 whole chain food waste projects by 2025 to work with suppliers to find further solutions to reducing waste and creating additional value in the supply chain.
This builds on Lidl’s initiatives to tackle food waste throughout the supply chain. The discounter was one of the first supermarkets to sign the NFU Fruit and Veg Pledge in 2016, underlining a commitment to help work in a sustainable way with all growers.
For customers, Lidl GB launched Too Good to Waste boxes in 2019 to help tackle in-store food waste. Priced at just £1.50 for approximately 5kg, the boxes contain fruit and vegetables from the store shelves that would have otherwise been thrown away but are still perfectly food to eat. They are put together daily by the discounter’s dedicated in-store Freshness Specialists and are available whilst stocks last.
About Lidl GB
Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl GB has experienced continuous growth and today has over 28,000 employees, over 930 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales.
As part of the Schwarz retail group, Lidl is one of Europe’s leading organisations in the food retail industry. The supermarket, which has more than 360,000 employees globally, currently operates approximately 12,000 stores and more than 200 warehouses and distribution centres in 31 countries.
The supermarket takes pride in providing its customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout Great Britain, from Kirkwall to the Isle of Wight. Social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the company's daily operations, with the company placing a strong emphasis on its responsibility for people, society, and the environment. Lidl GB is passionate about working with British producers and sources two thirds of its products from British suppliers.
The Schwarz Group, which operates worldwide as a retail group, generated a turnover of €133.6 billion in the financial year 2021.
For more information about Lidl GB visit https://corporate.lidl.co.uk/