Supermarket chain Aldi has announced plans to stock PGI Welsh Beef across all of its 50 Welsh stores from February 12, 2020.

The retailer has committed to stock 13 different products, including a selection of fillet, ribeye and sirloin steaks, both 28 and 21 day matured, as well as roasting joints and diced beef, giving shoppers more opportunities to enjoy locally-sourced produce.

The boost for Welsh Beef comes after the successful launch of PGI Welsh Lamb products in 2016.

The new range of PGI Welsh Beef products was officially launched at an Aldi store on Caerphilly Road, Cardiff, by Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, who championed the retailer for continuing to back Welsh farming.

Speaking at the event, organised jointly by HCC and Aldi, NFU Cymru Glamorgan chairman and livestock board member, Jonathan Huntley, said: “The commitment from Aldi to stock PGI Welsh Beef in all of their Welsh stores is very welcome news for the livestock industry here in Wales.

It is great to see the supermarket backing the industry in this way and recognising the high welfare and environmental standards that PGI Welsh Lamb and Beef are produced to.

“This commitment comes at a time of uncertainty for the Welsh agricultural industry with our future trading relationship with the EU-27 post-2020 yet to be decided, therefore Aldi’s move to PGI Welsh Beef provides some welcome news to farmers across Wales.”

Local procurement

Farmers’ Union of Wales deputy president Ian Rickman said it was a "welcome step in the right direction".

"Given the uncertainty our farmers face over future trade deals, supporting local suppliers is key to ensuring we have thriving, sustainable family farms here in Wales," he said.

The deputy president also used the opportunity to remind the Welsh Government that the decision to leave the EU presents an opportunity to revisit procurement laws and policies.

“Aldi is setting an outstanding example with their commitment and I urge the Welsh and UK Government to remember that we now have an opportunity to revisit procurement laws and policies in a way which ensures public bodies also lead by example in terms of supporting local, Welsh and UK food and farming businesses," he said.

We must place further emphasise on the benefits of local procurement and work to ensure that the principles laid down in the Plan for Local Procurement are adhered to in a way which results in investment in and benefits to UK businesses.

“It can’t be stressed enough that we need to instigate procurement policies which encourage the creation of new companies and cooperatives which allow smaller businesses to tender for procurement, in order to bring benefits in terms of local employment and redressing imbalances that currently exist throughout the supply chain.”

'A vote of confidence'

Julie Ashfield, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, said: “We’re pleased to be able to exclusively offer our Welsh Beef range for customers to enjoy.

"We remain committed to championing Welsh quality and will continue to work closely with suppliers across the country, to meet our shoppers’ demand for locally-sourced produce.”

Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales chief executive Gwyn Howells said: “A commitment by a major supermarket to stock a wide range of branded PGI Welsh Beef products is great news for consumers and for farmers.

"It’s a vote of confidence in the quality of the product, and shows the demand for local food, produced in Wales’s distinctive environment which is perfect for sustainable beef production based on natural resources.”