The supermarket company Lidl is offering financial incentives for farmers to set up egg production businesses. The retailer's backing is to allow investment to diversify their existing business into egg production. To do this Lidl is offering long-term contracts which they say will 'give confidence and security to invest in the future'.

Farmers Bob and Kay Adam have recently expanded their cattle business into egg production, through a partnership with Lidl. They invest in a 32,000 bird Free Range egg laying henhouse with their first eggs in stores within the next two weeks.

READ MORE: Industry issues warnings to the UK government over eggs

The discount retailer states it will be adding an extra £40m investment into existing egg suppliers. Existing and new farmers are being offered an additional investment on top of market rates, supported by long-term contracts as part of a guaranteed payback deal.

Despite reports of other retailers importing eggs from places such as Italy, Lid says they remain committed to selling 100% British fresh shell eggs

Martin Kottbauer, Chief Trading Officer at Lidl GB commented: “The last year has been particularly challenging for the British egg industry, and it’s had an impact on everyone. The easy option would certainly have been for us to source elsewhere, but we are firmly committed to the long-standing relationships we have with our British suppliers and our commitment to sourcing 100% fresh-shell British eggs.

“As an industry, we need to be doing more to ensure the long-term sustainability of the British egg sector, which is why we have taken steps to offer incentives and security for farmers to expand into egg production. This approach, which is supported by long-term contracts, is giving our suppliers much-needed confidence to invest in their businesses and further secure their futures. We would urge other retailers to do the same.”

READ MORE: Producers Finally Reaping Profits with Margins on the Rise

Robert Chapman, of Farmlay Eggs, Fraserburgh said: “Farmlay and its 25 contract producers are very grateful to Lidl for its support during a very challenging time with Avian Influenza a constant threat. The security that Lidl has given us with long-term contracts and a cost-of-production model ensures a good return, back to the primary producer. This security has enabled Farmlay to expand its own production base and also to encourage existing and new producers, like Bob and Kay Adam to invest.

The Adam's first birds were housed at the end of July and we know they’re incredibly excited ahead of their eggs going into Lidl stores. Lidl’s support for the whole British farming sector is second to none; just look at the amount of British and regional products displayed in their stores.”