The partnership follows Lidl’s commitment last year, to offer a fixed-term price deal to dairy farmers, and covers all of the elements necessary in building and securing a sustainable dairy sector.
Through a Lidl ambassador program, formed in conjunction with Müller Direct Next Generation, the partnership focuses on developing the next generation of UK dairy farmers. Young farmers signed up as Lidl Grassroots Dairy Partnership ambassadors will be offered training, including workshops on how to achieve lean and effective processes, as well as the opportunity to engage with Lidl’s senior management teams, to enhance their knowledge of the retail industry.
Future for dairy farmers
Lidl UK’s commercial director, Ryan McDonnell, said, “As a business, we are committed to supporting sustainable growth in the British dairy farming sector, and through our new ambassador program, we look forward to cultivating the relationships we have with young farmers across the country.”
Rob Hutchison, milk supply director at Müller Milk & Ingredients, said, “We are delighted to further build our long term strategic partnership with Lidl, working together to deliver benefits for the whole supply chain, from consumer to farmer.”
“The ‘Müller Direct Fixed Price Contract’, introduced in 2018 with support from Lidl, is already providing dairy farmers with real security and confidence for the future.
“The other initiatives we will now work on together will be focused on tackling additional challenges including greater use of recycled plastics, reducing food waste and water use, and further strengthening dairy farming businesses.”
As part of its sourcing strategy, Lidl said it is committed to supporting British producers, with up to two thirds of core products sourced from UK suppliers. In March 2017, Lidl signed the NFU’s ‘Back British Farming Charter’, to show commitment to the UK farming industry.