This week, Lidl made history by becoming the first supermarket in the world to receive the esteemed Cynnig Cymraeg designation from the Welsh Language Commissioner.
Lidl, which has 55 stores across Wales, has been exerting significant effort to provide assistance for the roll-out and incorporation of the Welsh language in stores. This certification acknowledges Lidl’s continuous dedication to the organization’s mission.
The Cynnig Cymraeg is the official acknowledgment of the Welsh Language Commissioner and is awarded to organisations that have partnered with the offices of the Welsh Language Commissioner to design and provide ambitious Welsh language provision. The award was first presented in 2011. It lends support to the long-term plan that the Commissioner has devised to guarantee that people in all parts of Wales are able to utilise the Welsh language in all facets of their lives.
Ute Thomas, Regional Director for Lidl in Wales, made the following statement: “At Lidl, we are committed to being an inclusive retailer, not only for our customers but also for our communities and our current and future employees.” In Wales, a significant portion of what it means to be inclusive is to preserve and encourage the use of the Welsh language. Since 2014, in partnership with the local planning authorities, we have been providing signage in both English and Welsh; however, since that time, our commitment to both our Welsh-speaking clients and our Welsh-speaking employees has only grown stronger. We are overjoyed to have been awarded the Cynnig Cymraeg certification in acknowledgment of our extensive efforts.
In addition to dual signage, Lidl has made investments in the rollout of Welsh language services throughout all aspects of its business in Wales, including the following areas:
Announcements made available in-store
Name tags worn by coworkers
Helplines available through phone for customers, as well as written communication
The packaging of all Welsh goods produced locally, which amounts to approximately 70 items at the moment
Checkout counters with self-service
Relevant social media updates
Ute Thomas continued by saying, “We are passionate about the communities in which we operate and supporting the things that genuinely matter to our consumers.” [Citation needed] We will continue to look into different methods in which we can assist the Welsh language, which plays such an essential role in the identities and histories of our communities.
The Welsh Language Commissioner, Efa Gruffudd Jones, is overjoyed by Lidl’s initiative and made the following statement about it: “The Cynnig Cymraeg scheme provides organisations with the opportunity to raise awareness of their Welsh language services, which will ultimately lead to an increase in the use of Welsh in our day-to-day lives.
Promoting and making it easier for people to utilise the Welsh language is the primary purpose of the Welsh Language Commissioner. The fact that a well-known store like Lidl is the one to take the initiative is really encouraging, and we expect and hope that other supermarkets and businesses will follow their lead. We will collaborate with Lidl as they work toward their goal of continuously expanding the Welsh language services that they provide and, as a result, enhancing the experiences of both their customers and their employees.
“I would like to encourage other comparable organisations to engage with us to expand and improve their Welsh language service,” the speaker says, “and I would like to say that I would like to do so.”
As part of the discounter’s ongoing efforts to help the local farming community, the company made the announcement of a new line of items made from Welsh beef the previous year. Because the company works directly with 130 farms and farming families across Wales, the entire range can be fully traced from the field to the store. This gives Welsh buyers the opportunity to experience beef that is locally raised and of the finest possible quality. This status is additionally acknowledged by the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) mark that is placed on the meat.
Since the programme was first introduced in June of 2020, 63 companies and charities have had their Cynnig Cymraeg recognised, and the office of the Commissioner is currently working with over a hundred other organisations to help them build their own Cynnig Cymraeg programmes.
More information on the Cynnig Cymraeg is available here.
About Lidl GB
Since establishing itself in Great Britain in 1994, Lidl GB has experienced continuous growth and today has over 28,000 employees, over 950 stores and 13 distribution centres in England, Scotland and Wales.
As part of the Schwarz retail group, Lidl is one of Europe’s leading organisations in the food retail industry. The supermarket, which has more than 360,000 employees globally, currently operates approximately 11,900 stores and more than 200 warehouses and distribution centres in 31 countries.
The supermarket takes pride in providing its customers with the highest quality products at the lowest possible prices throughout Great Britain, from Kirkwall to the Isle of Wight. Social responsibility and sustainability are at the core of the company’s daily operations, with the company placing a strong emphasis on its responsibility for people, society, and the environment. Lidl GB is passionate about working with British producers and sources two thirds of its products from British suppliers.
The Schwarz Group, which operates worldwide as a retail group, generated a turnover of €132.3 billion in the financial year 2021.
For more information about Lidl GB visit https://corporate.lidl.co.uk/