SUPERMARKET chain Aldi has celebrated the first anniversary of its three-year partnership with the Prince’s Countryside Fund.

Through this partnership, Aldi is supporting the Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, which provides family farms across Scotland and the rest of the UK with free business skills training and practical workshops to help them develop their management and technical skills. Programme participants also receive one-to-one sessions with their programme co-ordinator to create an action plan for their business.

Farmers Patrick and Abby Harrison, who own Balliefurth farm in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, are currently on the programme with the hope of taking their business to the next level.

“We’d been looking for some outside assistance to help us focus our efforts into productive and profitable enterprises, so The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme came along at a very opportune time,” said Patrick.

“The biggest benefit is that it makes you think about your business in the longer term. Its problematic in farming that you’re always busy with the day-to-day activities of running the farm, and not taking time away from the livestock to think about things. The programme is brilliant for helping you take a step back.”

In May 2019, Aldi was crowned Scottish Sourcing Business of the Year at the Scotland Food and Drink Excellence Awards, demonstrating the supermarket’s commitment to its Scottish suppliers and to offering the finest quality, locally sourced produce at everyday low prices. This year Aldi also celebrates its 25th anniversary of opening its first store in Scotland and has since opened 87 stores with a commitment to best value locally-sourced food and drink. In the coming year it will be opening a further seven new stores across Scotland, creating an additional 200 jobs by the end of 2019.

Managing director of Corporate Responsibility at Aldi UK, Fritz Walleczek, said: “We’re committed to backing Scottish farmers and our partnership with The Prince’s Countryside Fund has enabled us to help provide the support they need to grow and be sustainable.

“It’s been a fantastic year of working with the organisation and supporting The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, which is leading the way in ensuring that Scotland’s farms continue to be a success both now and in the future,” he concluded.