Aldi has reinforced its commitment to its Scottish stores and suppliers as its new £22 million freezer and chill facility in Bathgate was officially opened on Friday 25 September.
The new warehousing facility will provide an extra 17,000m2 of space to help meet growing demand for Aldi products in Scotland, as well as supporting the retailer to expand its range of locally-sourced products. Marking the official opening of the facility, Aldi has renewed its commitment to increasing the number of Scottish products available in its stores to 500 over the next two years.
Aldi currently has 92 stores across the country stocking more than 450 products from its network of over 90 Scottish suppliers. This year, Aldi will open a further four new stores across Scotland taking the total number of staff employed in Scotland to over 3,000 by the end of 2020.
Graham Nicolson, group buying director, Aldi Scotland, said: “It is important to us to mark the official opening of our new freezer and chill facility today, which reinforces our continued commitment to invest and support the Scottish food and drink industry.”
“When the decision was made to create a dedicated Scottish Buying team eleven years ago it was made with the clear strategy that buying Scottish products would not cost our customers any more than buying the equivalent non-Scottish product. This has never been compromised, and 30 per cent of our range is now locally sourced in Scotland, the largest share of any supermarket. We are committed to expanding further in Scotland and will be investing an additional £36 million in nine new stores before the end of 2021.”
For several years Aldi has led the way with local sourcing and was crowned Scottish Sourcing Business of the Year at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards last year. It has committed to sourcing 100% Scottish milk, 100% Scottish Red Lion assured eggs and 100% fresh Scottish salmon and the four most recent NFU Scotland ‘shelf watch’ surveys revealed Aldi stocks 100% Scotch Lamb PGI, 96% Scotch Beef PGI, 88% Scottish Chicken and 100% Specially Selected Pork in its everyday ranges, more than any other supermarket in Scotland. Aldi makes it easier for their customers to buy quality, local produce at affordable prices
Meanwhile, this year for the third time, Aldi launched a competition to search the length and breadth of Scotland for Aldi’s Next Top Product. The successful competition attracted a huge number of entries from a wide selection of Scottish suppliers, both new and existing. After extensive sampling, they recently announced their plans to award eight Scottish suppliers with Specialbuy listings that will launch in store in 2021. Winning entrants will be hoping to follow in the steps of core line suppliers Argo’s Bakery and Cobbs Bakery who won listings in Aldi stores in 2015 and 2016 respectively and whose products remain a firm favourite with shoppers to this day.
Hannah Bardell, Member of Parliament for Livingston, was unable to attend the official opening due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, however she has welcomed the news. “I am pleased to hear of Aldi’s new chill and storage facility that is opening in West Lothian. This large investment is most welcome in these difficult times and I hope it will bring new secure employment to the local area. I look forward to visiting the site in future”