German supermarket giant Aldi has announced its Grow with Aldi supplier development programme will return in 2021.

Since it first started in 2018, over 500 Irish food suppliers have taken part in the programme.

Aldi says it has invested €3m in the programme over the last three years.

The discounter said it will select 60 products for this year’s programme, with six ultimately being awarded a core product listing in Aldi’s 145 stores across Ireland.

The supermarket group says it wants food suppliers entering this year’s programme to submit products that demonstrate sustainability.

Separately, Aldi has also announced a major recruitment drive as it continues its expansion in Ireland.

The German retailer plans to open four new stores in Ireland in the coming months and also has plans to open two new stores in Kerry later in the year.

Additionally, Aldi said it is awaiting planning approval to open a further six stores at various locations around the country. As part of this expansion, Aldi said it is seeking to hire over 1,000 new employees in 2021.