Aldi investing in produce supply

Aldi has concluded a 20-year agreement with an apple grower in the UK. While the farm has been supplying the discounter with apples for eight years, in the new deal it is becoming Aldi’s sole provider of UK apples.

The long-term arrangement gives the farmer an opportunity to invest in new orchards across the country in the coming years. For Aldi, after Tesco the second biggest seller of apples in the UK, it guarantees a steady supply of a mix of homegrown Gala and Braeburn apples.

A twenty-year contract is considered a game-changer in the sector, long-term agreements are rare and would never span more than six years.

In Germany, the discounter has a different approach towards apples: last autumn, it launched an exclusive own label apple variety, called “Aldiamo”. The apple was developed with a university of applied sciences and a breeding company and grows in the north of Germany, just outside Hamburg. The apple is available in Aldi Süd’s 2,000 odd stores in Germany.

Aldi has also launched an exclusive strawberry variety in Germany. The new item was developed by a fruit specialist and took six years of research and testing before being presented under the name of “Aldina” as part of Aldi’s premium range “Kleine Schätze”.

Clearly the discounter bets on the national produce card. While supporting local farmers gives the company a positive and caring appearance, these initiatives pay off in that they ensure a more or less guaranteed supply, which they believe is worth the investment.