Dale Farm, the largest UK farmer-owned dairy co-operative, was awarded a lead contract to supply cheddar cheese to Lidl stores across the UK, Europe and the US. This represents the single biggest contract awarded by Lidl to a Northern Ireland agri-food company and it will see Dale Farm’s locally made block cheddars, as well as the grated and sliced varieties stocked in around 8,000 stores across 22 countries.
Dale Farm will become Lidl’s main cheddar supplier on a global basis. In turn, the leading retailed will become Dale Farm’s biggest cheddar customer.
“We are delighted to expand out Dale Farm partnership with this significant new arrangement to list its world-class, locally-made cheddar right across our UK, Europe and transatlantic store-base. Dale Farm’s excellent track record on product quality, innovation and provenance, as well as its distribution and export expertise, make it a strong and strategic choice for Lidl as we continue our drive to provide shoppers with the best choice, standard and value for money,” said Liam Casey, commercial director of Lidl Ireland & Northern Ireland.
Dale Farm produces its multi-award winning cheese range using milk supplied by its co-operative members at its Dunmanbridge plant near Cookstown in County Thorpe. The range will be seen on Lidl shelves under the ‘Valley Spire’ and ‘Milbona’ names in the UK and Europe, under the supermarket’s ‘Rathdaragh’ own-brand in Ireland, and in the US as ‘Preferred Selection’.
“Strengthening our long-term global partnership with Lidl is great news for the 1,300 farmers who own the Dale Farm co-operative. The scale of this contract is testament to the high standard of the milk our farmer owners provide us with to consistently create world-class cheddar cheese. It also demonstrates the continuing strength and sustainability of our farmer owned co-operative business model,” said Stephen Cameron, Dale Farm Group Commercial Director.