JP Scally, CEO of Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland and Jim O’Toole, CEO of Bord Bia. Photo: Fennell Photography

Lidl invested €124m in Cork producers in 2022

A total of €124 million was invested in the Cork agri-food industry by Lidl Ireland in 2022. This makes up part of a total of €1 billion that has been invested in the Irish agri-food industry last year.

Released last Thursday, the retailer’s latest Supplier Impact Report also outlines that of that €1 billion, €682 million stayed within Lidl Ireland’s operations to be sold locally to the retailers’ Irish customers and €318 million was exported internationally through Lidl’s expansive network of stores showcasing the best of Irish produce on the global stage.

With more than 400 local suppliers supported in the Republic of Ireland, Lidl Ireland continues to give Irish producers unrivalled access to local and international markets supporting the growth and success of Irish produce worldwide.

In 2022 alone, Lidl announced a €20 million deal with Bantry-based Keohane’s which included significant exports of their fresh and frozen Irish seafood reaching the shores of Great Britain, Germany, Cyprus, Italy and even the USA.

Meanwhile a €3 million deal with award-winning Ballincollig beekeepers, Healy’s Honey, sees their honey products stocked Lidl stores across Ireland.

At a micro-level, Lidl’s Kickstart Supplier Development Programme supported by Bord Bia, is designed to give small and medium-sized Irish food and drink businesses the opportunity to advance their product, brand, and business with dedicated support from Lidl experts along the way. Now in its seventh year, Lidl has invested more than €7 million in the Kickstart programme to date.

Launching the new report findings, JP Scally, CEO, Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “Our fantastic suppliers represent the best of Ireland’s food and drink industry and we’re proud to showcase the high calibre of their products on our shelves in Ireland and on the global stage through our Lidl network.

“In 2022, Lidl Ireland procured more than €1 billion worth of goods from Irish suppliers. This record investment is a huge driver of economic growth, and this report demonstrates just how important supplier relationships are not only to the ongoing success of our business, but to the 400+ local producers that we work with and their employees across the country.

“Since 2018, we have been working hard to increase our customer offering, expanding our product range by more than 40% and tripling our buying team to focus on sourcing as many Irish products as possible, helping customers to do their full shop with Lidl while also buying top quality Irish products.

“As we look ahead to this upcoming year, we look forward to nurturing new and fruitful supplier partnerships and supporting even more local businesses to success.”

Jim O’Toole, CEO, Bord Bia said: “Over the past 20 years, Lidl has demonstrated a strong commitment to sourcing Irish produce, giving a wide range of Irish food, drink and horticulture producers access to a large customer base in Ireland as well as export opportunities.

“2022 saw record export growth for the Irish agri-food sector, and strong partnerships with retailers, such as Lidl, are a key factor of that growth,” he added.