Source: Lidl

Lidl is claiming a supermarket first in receiving official accreditation for its Welsh language provisions.

The discounter has been awarded the Cynnig Cymraeg certification from the Welsh Language Commissioner, in recognition of its inclusion of the language in its 55 stores across Wales.

As well as rolling out dual signage, Lidl is also including the country’s language in-store announcements, on staff name badges, on packaging of local produce, at self-service checkouts and on relevant social medial updates, as wel as via customer service help lines.

The principal aim of the Welsh Language Commissioner is to ensure people can use the language in all aspects of their lives and all parts of Wales. Since the Cynnig Cymraeg certification scheme launched in June 2020, 63 business and charities have been recognised, while the Commissioner’s office is working with over a hundred other organisations to develop their initiatives.

“We’re committed to being an inclusive retailer, for our customers, for our communities and our colleagues and prospective colleagues,” said Ute Thomas, Lidl regional director for Wales.

“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.

“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 said: “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.

“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.”