Championing best practice in the fresh produce sector, the code is designed to cultivate strong and longstanding relationships between retailers, intermediaries and growers. By throwing its weight behind the nationwide initiative to back British farmers, Lidl underlines its commitment to working in a sustainable way with all of its growers.
With a dedicated buying team and flat reporting structure, Lidl has gained an in-depth understanding of the importance of developing long-term working practices with growers that enable them to invest and grow, contributing to a profitable British fresh produce sector.
Backing the pledge highlights its commitment to putting security for suppliers, fair terms, price certainty and elimination of waste top of the agenda, and it will continue to endeavour to step beyond these responsibilities, ensuring customers have faith in every step of its sourcing policy.
Lidl has also pledged to continue its on-going promotional activity with growers, including the ‘Pick of the Week’ promotions, which are specifically designed to provide flexibility yet security to their supply base through crop-availability-led planning.
Ali Capper (above), NFU horticulture and potatoes board chair said: “We are delighted that Lidl has publicly committed to our pledge, highlighting its commitment to long-term supply relationships, equitable distribution of reward along the supply chain, and fair and respectful trading relationships. Our goal is to generate integrity, honesty and openness across the market and that can only come from the key asks within our pledge – which includes price certainty, transparent working and strong, long term relationships that are fair for everyone involved. Lidl, with its already long history of working closely with its suppliers, is an ideal candidate to make the pledge.”
Ryan McDonnell, Commercial Director for Lidl UK, said: “We are very proud to have developed and maintained strong, long-standing relationships with all our suppliers, and our commitment to the NFU pledge cements this further. We’re also very keen to ensure that our sourcing process supports the growth and development of UK growers, which is vital in encouraging more and more people, particularly our shoppers, to regularly eat more fruit and veg.”
Lidl’s 11 commitments to the NFU Fruit and Veg Pledge include:
1. Treat all suppliers fairly, at all times and in accordance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.
2. Build long-term relationships with growers that offer greater certainty and stability.
3. Offer production programmes as far in advance as possible of the crop being required.
4. Offer greater price certainty to growers.
5. Pay all suppliers on time, in full and always consult with suppliers in advance of any changes to payment terms and conditions.
6. Seek to plan promotional activity in advance with growers and seek to adopt a flexible, production led approach to the timing of promotions.
7. Reduce wastage, eliminate costs and add more value to the supply chain by seeking out opportunities to utilise the whole crop and adopting realistic product specifications.
8. Communicate directly with grower suppliers so that they can better understand consumers’ needs and the production challenges that growers’ face and be flexible to changes in supply.
9. Seek to adopt a joined up business plan across all aspects of your business and throughout your supply chain.
10. When in season, commit to increasing the proportion of British fruit and vegetables that are available for consumers to buy.
11. Contribute to investment in horticultural research, development and product innovation that benefits consumers.