Richard Corrigan with the winners of last year\'s Grow with Aldi programme

Richard Corrigan with the winners of last year's Grow with Aldi programme

Are you an Irish food or drink producer? Aldi is looking to hear from you!

Yesterday, chef Richard Corrigan, owner of Virginia Park Lodge in Cavan, launched this year’s Grow with Aldi programme. The supplier development programme aims to support producers from all over the country by bringing 70 new products into stores nationwide. From these, five products will be chosen to become part of Aldi’s core range.

Grow with Aldi, which was developed in partnership with Bord Bia, is now in its second year. Last year saw 230 suppliers apply to take part in the programme and the team at Aldi are hoping that this year’s competition will be even bigger.

Speaking about the programme, Richard Corrigan commented:

“Hands down, Ireland now produces some of the most exciting food in the world. The quality and diversity of the products Irish food entrepreneurs are producing is exceptional. It provides a great opportunity for Irish producers to see their products welcomed into the limelight.”

Read more: Ireland's first permanent non-alcoholic bar opens in February

Applicants have to undergo quite a thorough process to make it to the final 70 products: Once suppliers have applied to the programme, they will be invited to pitch their products to Aldi and Bord Bia, then their products will be sampled. Following this, the judges will select 70 products that will be available instore, then the Aldi buyers team will choose the five ultimate winners.

It sounds like a tough process, but definitely worthwhile as Aldi are investing €500,000 into the programme to help Irish food and drink businesses grow and get to retail shelves. Participants will also be invited to workshops with Aldi buyers and Bord Bia experts who will teach them the skills to grow their businesses.

Richard Corrigan and Laura Harper, Buying Director at Aldi Ireland, with last year's winners

Richard Corrigan and Laura Harper, Buying Director at Aldi Ireland, with last year's winners

Read more: Pastry masterclass with Louise Lennox

Lullaby Milk from Cork was one of the winning products from last year’s competition. Julian and Gerard Burns milk their cows daily before dawn to ensure that their product is rich in melatonin, thus aiding a natural, full night’s sleep. Speaking about what it was like to work with Aldi, the pair told us:

“The support and mentoring offered by Aldi throughout the Grow with Aldi programme has benefitted our business immensely, and we are excited to see our product made available to Aldi shoppers across the country every day.  We believe we offer something truly unique and are thankful to Aldi for giving us the opportunity to share it.”

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For over 100 years, our family have been farming with the same herd of pedigree cows at our farm at Adrahan, Kanturk in County Cork. The welfare and well-being of our animals is always our TOP priority ✅. Our cows roam and graze freely on the lush green pasture on our farm which helps give #LullabyMilk it's unique creamy taste. Lullaby Milk is all-natural. Independent scientific studies have shown it's high levels of NATURAL melatonin can help you sleep and stay sleeping. Nothing is added, nothing is taken out, as nature intended Furthermore, as a result of these studies, #LullabyMilk is approved by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland  If you'd like to know more about #LullabyMilk, the scientific research or our welfare standards, we'd be delighted to answer any questions you may have. Please e-mail Julian at [email protected] or visit our website to learn more  #sleep #sleeping #insomnia #ireland #sleepwell #mammy #daddy #parents #melatonin #sweetdreams

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The application process for Grow with Aldi opens on January 21st, so any interested producers should get ready to apply! Head to www.aldi.ie/grow for more details.