Lidl has committed to investing £15bn into UK businesses over the next five years, as the discounter aims to provide suppliers with “support and ability needed to invest and grow”.

The discounter announced this morning that it would be investing £15bn into UK food, farming and production over the next five years and also pledged to increase sales of British-sourced meat, poultry and fresh produce by 10% within the next year.

The retailer said it would introduce longer-term contracts for suppliers and offer a new young farmers programme to “offer support for new talent in the British farming industry”.

Lidl said this commitment to the UK comes as its “pace of growth continues and will provide its suppliers with the support and ability needed to invest and grow their own businesses”.

Chief commercial officer at the discounter, Ryan McDonnell, said: “As our business continues to grow, it’s vital that our suppliers remain at the heart of our growth plans, and that is why we are committing to investing at least £15bn over the next five years.

“Our business is only ever as good as our suppliers’, so our investments and commitments are key to ensuring that they can invest and expand with us.

“Our long-term partnerships with farmers are all the more important during economic uncertainty, and with 2019 marking our 25th anniversary, we are more committed than ever to supporting our suppliers here in Britain and offering customers British-sourced products in the future.”

Since launching in the UK in 1994, Lidl now operates from some 770 stores around the UK.