Published: 11:39, 14 January 2021
| Updated: 11:41, 14 January 2021
Supermarket chain Aldi has vowed to spend billions of pounds more on British produce - a move which will further boost one Kent firm which supplies it with fruit.
The company has announced it plans to plough £3.5bn more into food and drink bought from British suppliers over the next five years.
It comes as part of its on-going expansion plans which includes investing £500m in new and upgraded stores, distribution centres and its supply chain this year alone. That will create over 4,000 jobs.
But its increased investment in British suppliers will come as music to the ears of Maidstone-based fruit grower Chambers which, since 2013, has supplied the supermarket with strawberries.
Its managing director, Tim Chambers, explained: "Our long-standing partnership with Aldi has helped us to grow more strawberries than ever before and expand our business. We have even more exciting projects planned and look forward to continuing to work closely with Aldi in the coming years.”
Giles Hurley, CEO at Aldi UK, added: “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 pandemic will be extended until the end of 2021.
It means suppliers with an annual turnover of less than £1m will be processed as soon as they are submitted.