Lidl France gives priority to French products as long as there is product availability, in line with Lidl’s stated support of local production. “All our stores receive daily deliveries in order to ensure unquestionable freshness,” said Laurent Dorflinger, head of fruit and vegetable sourcing. “We offer the best value thanks to our optimised logistics and large scale.” Lidl has long-term relationships with its supply partners and production programmes are established under specific product charters, in order to provide long-term visibility. In addition to its “BIO” brand for organics, Lidl France has two retail brands for fresh fruit and vegetables: “Saveurs de nos regions” for regional products and “Coté Marché” for seasonal products.
Sustainable supply chain
Since 2019, Lidl France has had a supply chain strategy consisting of 75 product categories. Preliminary audits identified six priority supply chains to develop within a ten-year programme: potato, banana, avocado, mango, pineapple and grapefruit. A working scheme was established at the beginning of 2022 together with suppliers and 20 third-party organisations, including NGOs, research centres and technical institutes. At the CSR level, the first pilot projects defined concern the potato supply chain; the Living Wage programmes in the Ivory Coast for bananas to ensure decent earnings for workers; and the monitoring of environmental impacts caused by producing tropical crops, conducted with CIRAD.
Focus on potato “Terre de Progrès”
Since 2019, Lidl France has also been engaged with the “Sols Vivants” collective in order to work together towards regenerative agriculture (RA). Together with Terrea, Parmentine and Pom’alliance, Lidl offers a portfolio of potatoes produced from regenerative agriculture, which have been on sale at all French stores of Lidl since October 2021. This programme involves eight producer partners working with Lidl France under a signed agreement. Performance indicators related to the practices and results of regenerative agriculture include the rate of vegetal coverage of soils, the diversity of cultivated species, the intensity of soil operations, the ratio of organic matter to clay, and carbon absorption graphs.
Lidl France has chosen to establish stricter requirements for residue levels in fresh fruit and vegetables than EU and French norms. “We decided to engage in reducing pesticide levels in fresh fruit and vegetables and to define a list of banned substances,” said Dorflinger. Lidl France sets maximum residue levels at 33% of the EU levels defined by the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority). A maximum of 5 detected pesticide residues is tolerated.
1,580 stores of Lidl France
30 new stores opened annually
7.6% market share of French retail
12.4% market share of fresh fruit and vegetables