top of page

The latest news, trends, analysis, interviews and podcasts from the global food and beverage industry

FoodBev Media Logo
Access more as a FoodBev subscriber

Sign up to FoodBev and unlock more insights from the international food and beverage industry. Subscribers have access to webinars, newsletters, publications and more...

Lidl invests £500m to bolster British pork sector
FoodBev Media

FoodBev Media

29 April 2024

Lidl invests £500m to bolster British pork sector

Lidl GB has announced plans to invest £500 million into the British pork sector to bolster the nation's pork industry. The funding, which the German retailer expects to support the continued production of high-quality British pork products, is designed to address recent challenges in the pork sector. These include rising costs, the Chinese import ban on EU pork and butcher shortages, which the retailer said led to a “significant backlog of healthy pigs” and financial concerns for producers. Along with the investment, Lidl has introduced the ‘Lidl Pork Standard,’ supporting its 100% everyday British pork pledge. The new standard has seen Lidl move its pork producers to an open-book producer costing model that includes the on-farm cost of production, while guaranteeing minimum producer volumes, including a fixed margin for farmers. The change was developed in collaboration with pork producers through the supermarket giant’s newly created ‘Lidl Pork Producer Group’, as the retailer recognises the need for a more sustainable pricing model for suppliers and farmers within the pork sector. Through the new group, Lidl will fund R&D projects designed to mimic the natural behaviours of pigs to improve their overall wellbeing. A new trial has seen 3D cameras installed to record the nature and frequency of the animals’ enrichment interactions, with the data being subsequently used to enhance welfare. Lidl is also investing in assessing the carbon footprint of all the farms in its pork producer group – the results of which will be used to form plans to reduce emissions on the farms. Alongside this, it will also invest more than £250,000 in at-risk UK catchments to support river health and water quality, while working to achieve deforestation-free soy sourcing by the end of 2025. Richard Bourns, CCO at Lidl GB, said: “This latest investment underlines our commitment to British producers, animal welfare and the environment. Acknowledging the challenges faced by the industry and its farmers in recent years, we recognised the need for intervention and the development of a bespoke solution addressing these challenges. That’s why we’ve been working closely with our suppliers and farmers, including major partners such as Cranswick and Pilgrim’s, to ensure we understand the intricacies of this supply chain and are well-positioned to deliver impactful change.” He continued: “With our pork market share significantly greater than our broader market share, it highlights the substantial influence we have in this area and we’re embracing our responsibility to drive positive change. Our new pork standard is all about supporting our rural communities and ensuring the resilience of the sector while providing customers with high-quality British pork at affordable prices.” Rick Buckle, MD of farms – pork division at Cranswick, commented: “It's great to see Lidl's continued commitment to British pig farming and we’re thrilled to be working with them on its new standard. Together, we’ve already commenced groundbreaking research trials aimed at enhancing pig welfare and are excited to work in partnership with Lidl for years to come.” Fábio Brancher, operations director for agriculture at Pilgrim’s Europe, added: “With Lidl’s support, this collaborative approach will provide crucial stability for our third-party farmers, shielding them from market volatility and aiding their recovery from recent challenges. This next step with Lidl underscores our commitment to supporting British farmers and fostering a sustainable future for the sector, and we look forward to developing our relationship further.”

Related posts
bottom of page