Aldi has announced plans to increase the amount of food and drink it buys from British suppliers over the next five years by £3.5bn as it continues its rapid expansion across the UK.
The company is investing £500m in new and upgraded stores, distribution centres and its supply chain in 2021, which will create over 4,000 jobs as well as new opportunities for British food and drink producers.
The pledge from Aldi will help hundreds of British businesses continue to grow with the supermarket and invest for the future.
One example is cheese producer Wensleydale Creamery, whose ongoing partnership with Aldi began in 2016 to supply the supermarket with a selection of handcrafted cheeses.
The partnership has enjoyed significant growth over the years, with Wensleydale Creamery increasing its production to supply all of Aldi’s stores across the UK and Ireland and delivering investment in its Hawes site to meet the growing demand.
Paul Savage, business unit director at Wesleydale Creamery, said: “Working with Aldi has been truly transformative for us. Each week a staggering 10 tonnes of cheese is delivered to stores across the UK, which has helped us grow and has given us the confidence to invest in our manufacturing sites.”
Giles Hurley, chief executive officer at Aldi UK, said: “We are expecting significant sales growth in 2021 as we open new stores and bring Aldi to more locations across the UK. With the vast majority of our grocery products now coming from British suppliers, our growth will lead to additional jobs and investment in our UK supply chain.”
Aldi has also confirmed that the immediate payment terms for small suppliers it introduced at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic will be extended until the end of 2021.
The commitment means that the supermarket will continue to process payments for suppliers with an annual turnover of less than £1m with Aldi as soon as they are submitted.
The move will benefit more than 1,000 small British businesses in the supermarket’s supply chain.