Aldi is to buy nearly four tonnes of surplus stock from British artisan cheesemakers whose businesses have been affected by Covid-19.
Following the closure of restaurants and supermarket deli counters, many producers were left with unsold fresh cheese with a limited shelf life.
In total, the agreement will save almost four tonnes of brie, hard and blue cheese from going to waste. This equates to almost 32 thousand packs of cheese.
The supermarket will be introducing a mixed case as a Specialbuy, containing a number of different cheeses including Norfolk Mardler, Cornish Blue and Sussex Charmer. It will go on sale across all Aldi stores from 23rd July, priced at £1.49.
Julie Ashfield, managing director of national buying at Aldi, said: “Aldi is committed to supporting farmers, growers and suppliers throughout the UK, which is especially important during these difficult times. Cheese is a staple product on most people’s shopping list, and we hope our customers enjoy these high-quality cheeses knowing they’ve helped small British businesses when they needed it most.”
Sam Steggles of Fielding Cottage, makers of the Norfolk Mardler, said: “We hugely appreciate the support from Aldi as a result of the recent challenging times. Aldi’s support is enabling the production of cheese from our small herd of goats to continue.”
Commenting on the purchases, Phil Stansfield of the Cornish Cheese Company – which produces the Cornish Blue – explained: “The support received from Aldi during these unprecedented times goes a long way. Our cheese production is now slowly but surely starting to return with the help of Aldi supporting British Artisan makers!”
Rob Bookham of Bookham Harrsion Farms, which makes the Sussex Charmer, added: “The future is starting to look a lot brighter for us at Bookham Harrsion Farms as Aldi support us by purchasing a significant amount of our beautiful Sussex Charmer cheese!”
According to Kantar, cheese is one of the fastest-growing categories in dairy, with sales up by 11.0% in the 12 weeks to 22 March.