Lidl's investing €250,000 in new Irish suppliers

The German chain is looking for submissions from Irish businesses...

German retailer Lidl has launched a programme targeted at small and medium-sized Irish food and drink producers which will see up to 100 of them supply a guaranteed volume of their produce for a limited time.

Its Kick Start programme, in conjunction with Bord Bia, will give small producers a fresh chance to get on its shelves in September.

Liam Casey, Lidl’s Commercial Director joined Vincent Wall on Breakfast Business earlier today to discuss this programme.

"In the beginning, we're investing over €250,000 behind the programme. We have a number of seminars to help the suppliers along the way in conjunction with our partners Bord Bia ... We'll bring them in-house through a number of workshops and training sessions and give them our expertises in various different areas," he told Newstalk.

Successful brands will see their goods on the shelves of more than 150 Lidl stores across Ireland.

One of the programme's key selling points is the opportunity to tap into its Europe-wide network of stores. Mr Casey told Vincent Wall that at various points throughout each year brands from Ireland will be considered to supply stores in other regions where the chain operates.

He cites Comerford Brothers cake company and Cahill's Cheese as Irish brands which have transitioned from only supplying Lidl's Irish supermarkets to now selling in its shops in other countries.

When asked if Lidl will consider working with brands who already have agreements with rival supermarkets he replied, "It's a small island - we're open to any suppliers."

Submissions to be considered for the programme are open until May 21st.