Lidl has announced new financial incentives to encourage farmers back into the egg sector following considerable pressure on the industry over the past year.
The discounter has confirmed that existing and new farmers will be offered an extra £40m on top of market rates, supported by long term contracts as part of a guaranteed pay back deal.
Through these contracts, Lidl says farmers will be given the security and confidence needed to invest in and expand their existing businesses, helping to provide greater returns in the long term.
While other supermarkets in recent months have chosen to import eggs from overseas, Lidl says it has ‘held firm’ on its commitment to source 100% British fresh shell eggs.
Martin Kottbauer, chief trading officer at Lidl GB said the last year has been particularly challenging for the British egg industry, and it’s had an impact on everyone.
£4om investment on top of market rates with long term contracts for existing and new farmers
“The easy option would certainly have been for us to source elsewhere, but we are firmly committed to the long-standing relationships we have with our British suppliers, and our commitment to sourcing 100% fresh shell British eggs,” said Mr Kottbauer.
“As an industry we need to be doing more to ensure the long-term sustainability of the British egg sector, which is why we have taken steps to offer incentives and security for farmers to expand into egg production. This approach, which is supported by long term contracts, is giving our suppliers much needed confidence to invest in their businesses and further secure their futures. We would urge other retailers to do the same.”
Forfar farming family Bob and Kay Adam, and sons Andrew and James, from Newhouse of Glamis, have recently expanded their farming business into egg production, after forming a long-term partnership with Lidl.
Following discussions with packer Farmlay Eggs, the Adams have started working with Lidl as part of a five-year contract linked to a cost of production model.
This long-term partnership with Lidl has given them the confidence they needed to diversify their business and invest in a 32,000 bird Free Range egg laying henhouse.
They will see their first eggs land in Lidl stores within the next two weeks.
Speaking about their partnership with Lidl, Robert Chapman, of Farmlay Eggs said Farmlay and its 25 contract producers are very grateful to Lidl for its support during a very challenging time with Avian Influenza a constant threat.
“The security that Lidl has given us with long term contracts and a cost of production model ensures a good return, back to the primary producer,” said Mr Chapman.
“This security has enabled Farmlay to expand its own production base and also to encourage existing and new producers, like Bob and Kay Adam to invest.
Adam family invest in 32,000 Free Range egg laying house
“The Adam’s first birds were housed at the end of July and we know they’re incredibly excited ahead of their eggs going into Lidl stores. Lidl’s support for the whole British farming sector is second to none; just look at the amount of British and regional products displayed in their stores.”
Lidl has also launched a new 6-pack of Free Range eggs that have a carbon footprint reduction of almost 60%.
Working with its Scottish based egg supplier Duncan Farms, the businesses have achieved a significant emissions reduction by removing soy from animal feed, replacing it with feed made of home-grown British beans, whilst significantly increasing biodiversity, amongst other developments.
The RSPCA Assured eggs also promote hyper transparency, with the packs featuring a QR code enabling customers to get more information on the five steps of climate action.