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Aldi invests £750m in British apple grower

Supermarket chain Aldi has signed a new £750 million deal with AC Goatham & Son, a family-owned fruit farm based in Kent, UK. The 20-year deal will see the introduction of the ‘Aldi Orchard,’ a 200-acre plot on New Green Farm in Gravesend, which will grow a mix of gala and braeburn apples for Aldi supermarkets across the UK. AC Goatham, which begun supplying Aldi with apples and pears in 2016, is now the supermarket's sole supplier of British apples. The long-term deal will provide support for farmers across the UK – assuring their supplies and giving them job security. AC Goatham plans to plant an additional 100 acres per year of apple trees exclusively for Aldi. The family-run farm was founded in 1947 and supplies an estimated 250 million apples and pears to Aldi stores each year – more than five times the volume it initially supplied to the supermarket in 2016. The fruit farm also plans to work with Aldi to extend the growing season with controlled atmosphere storage. AC Goatham & Son’s managing director Ross Goatham said: “This is a fantastic achievement and a real testament to the work both AC Goatham and Aldi have put into the agreement to have created something truly collaborative, a first for the British top fruit sector. This gives us the confidence now to invest for the future and to grow more British apples and pears for Aldi, guaranteeing sustainability, viability and most importantly UK food security.” Julie Ashfield, MD of buying at Aldi UK, added: “We are proud to be one of the largest buyers of British apples and of our partnership with AC Goatham. This new 20-year deal represents a £750m investment in British farming and demonstrates our long-term commitment to championing British produce.” According to industry body British Apples & Pears, Aldi was the largest buyer of British apples in 2023.

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