The code is designed to champion best practice in the fresh produce sector and cultivate "strong and longstanding relationships" between retailers, intermediaries and growers.
Ali Capper, NFU horticulture and potatoes board chair said: "We are delighted that Lidl has publicly committed to our pledge, highlighting its commitment to long-term supply relationships, equitable distribution of reward along the supply chain, and fair and respectful trading relationships. Our goal is to generate integrity, honesty and openness across the market and that can only come from the key asks within our pledge – which includes price certainty, transparent working and strong, long term relationships that are fair for everyone involved. Lidl, with its already long history of working closely with its suppliers, is an ideal candidate to make the pledge."
Ryan McDonnell, commercial director for Lidl UK, said: "We are very proud to have developed and maintained strong, long-standing relationships with all our suppliers, and our commitment to the NFU pledge cements this further. We’re also very keen to ensure that our sourcing process supports the growth and development of UK growers, which is vital in encouraging more and more people, particularly our shoppers, to regularly eat more fruit and veg."
Lidl’s 11 commitments to the NFU Fruit and Veg Pledge:
Treat all suppliers fairly, at all times and in accordance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice.
Build long-term relationships with growers that offer greater certainty and stability.
Offer production programmes as far in advance as possible of the crop being required.
Offer greater price certainty to growers.
Pay all suppliers on time, in full and always consult with suppliers in advance of any changes to payment terms and conditions.
Seek to plan promotional activity in advance with growers and seek to adopt a flexible, production led approach to the timing of promotions.
Reduce wastage, eliminate costs and add more value to the supply chain by seeking out opportunities to utilise the whole crop and adopting realistic product specifications.
Communicate directly with grower suppliers so that they can better understand consumers’ needs and the production challenges that growers’ face and be flexible to changes in supply.
Seek to adopt a joined up business plan across all aspects of your business and throughout your supply chain.
When in season, commit to increasing the proportion of British fruit and vegetables that are available for consumers to buy.
Contribute to investment in horticultural research, development and product innovation that benefits consumers.