Lidl announces Welsh language certification
Cynnig Cymraeg certification signals retailer’s ongoing commitment to Welsh culture and heritage
Lidl has this week become the first supermarket to achieve the prestigious Cynnig Cymraeg certification from the Welsh Language Commissioner. With 55 stores across Wales, Lidl has been working hard to support the roll-out and inclusion of the Welsh language in stores. This certification recognises Lidl’s ongoing commitment to the cause.
The Cynnig Cymraeg is the official recognition of the Welsh Language Commissioner and is given to organisations that have collaborated with the Commissioner's officers to develop and deliver ambitious Welsh language provision. It supports the Commissioner’s long-term plan to ensure people can use the Welsh language in all aspects of their lives, in all parts of Wales.
Ute Thomas, Regional Director for Lidl in Wales, commented: “At Lidl, we’re committed to being an inclusive retailer, for our customers, for our communities and our colleagues and prospective colleagues. In Wales, protecting and promoting the Welsh language is a huge part of what it means to be inclusive. Since 2014, we’ve provided signage in dual languages, in conjunction with local planning authorities, but since then, our commitment to our Welsh speaking customers and colleagues has only increased. We’re thrilled to receive our Cynnig Cymraeg certification, in recognition of this hard work.”
As well as dual signage, Lidl has invested in rolling out Welsh language services across all aspects of its business in Wales, including:
- In-store announcements
- Colleague name badges
- Customer service phone helplines and written communications
- Packaging on all local Welsh produce, which currently encompasses 70 products
- Self-service checkouts
- Relevant social media updates
Ute Thomas added: “We’re passionate about the communities in which we operate and supporting the things that really matter to our customers. We’ll continue to seek out ways in which we can support the Welsh language, which is such an important part of our communities’ identity and heritage.”
Welsh Language Commissioner, Efa Gruffudd Jones, is delighted at Lidl’s approach, commenting: “The Cynnig Cymraeg scheme gives organisations the opportunity to raise awareness of their Welsh language services that will in turn lead to an increase in the use of Welsh in our day to day lives.
“The principal aim of the Welsh Language Commissioner is to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh language. Seeing a high profile supermarket such as Lidl take the lead is hugely positive and we hope to see other supermarkets and businesses follow their example. We will work with Lidl as they aspire to continually increase the Welsh language services that they offer and therefore improving the experiences for customers and staff alike.
“I would like to encourage other similar organisations to work with us to develop and improve their Welsh language offer.”
Last year the discounter announced a new range of Welsh beef products, as part of its commitment to supporting local farmers. Working directly with 130 farms and farming families across Wales, the range is fully traceable from field to store; enabling Welsh shoppers to enjoy beef that is locally reared and of the highest quality. This status is further recognized by the meat’s Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) mark.
Since launching the scheme in June 2020, 63 businesses and charities have had their Cynnig Cymraeg recognised, and the Commissioner's office is working with over a hundred other organisations to develop their schemes.