MACROOM Buffalo Mozzarella has signed a €1m, two-year contract with Aldi which will see owner Johnny Lynch grow his herd to almost 300 animals.
Under the new agreement, Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella will increase quantities and will supply Aldi’s 130 Irish stores with over half a million packs of locally-produced Italian-inspired cheese.
Johnny is Ireland’s only producer of artisan buffalo mozzarella. To help satisfy the overwhelming demand from customers, Johnny will grow his herd of buffalo on his West Cork farm by 40%, to almost 300 animals. Established in 2009, Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella now employs six people.
Johnny has partnered with Aldi since 2015 and has featured in a popular and humorous TV ad for his product.
He said: ‘The security and certainty provided by our partnership with Aldi has enabled us to invest in and substantially grow our business over the last three years. Before Aldi listed our product in its stores, we primarily sold it at farmers’ markets and to restaurants around the country. We are now expanding into making other cheeses including buffalo ricotta, buffalo Greek-style cheese and buffalo halloumi, and hope to begin exporting product for the first time next year.’
Finbar McCarthy, Aldi’s group buying director added: ‘The success of Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella is an excellent example of the fantastic opportunities that exist at Aldi for innovative small and medium-sized Irish suppliers. We recently launched our new Grow with Aldi supplier development programme in partnership with Bord Bia, to support Irish food and drink businesses in developing their products with the end goal of securing a national listing with Aldi.
‘Our aim is to provide the necessary mentoring to enable food and drink businesses realise their potential and hopefully unearth the next standout Irish supplier like Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella,’ Mr McCarthy added.